Date
11 December 2017
Positive trade data bolsters the view that the US economy is on the mend. Photo: Bloomberg
Positive trade data bolsters the view that the US economy is on the mend. Photo: Bloomberg

US trade gap shrinks the most since early 2009

The US trade deficit narrowed to US$40.9 billion in April from a revised March deficit of US$50.6 billion, Commerce Department data showed Wednesday.

That came as imports fell 3.3 percent to US$230.8 billion during the month as West Coast ports, a key gateway for goods to and from Asia, cleared a backlog created by a labor dispute that was settled earlier this year, Reuters reported.

The 19.2 percent drop in the April trade deficit was the largest decrease since early 2009, according to the report.

Exports increased 1.0 percent to US$189.9 billion in April with foreign sales of US services edging up to a record high US$60.9 billion. 

Meanwhile, other data showed that private employers added 201,000 jobs in May, the most since January.

The data from payrolls processor ADP was in line with analyst forecasts and higher than a revised 165,000 jobs in April.

The data overall supports the view that the US economy has recovered somewhat from a first-quarter contraction.

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CG/RC

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