US trade deficit falls 9.6% in February

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US trade deficit falls 9.6% in February

Washington, April 5 (IANS) The US trade deficit fell 9.6 per cent in February to $43.6 billion, after reaching the highest level in five years in January, the government said.

The figure came in below economists’ estimates of a $44.5 billion trade deficit, Efe news agency reported.

Imports decreased by 1.8 per cent to $236.4 billion in February, while exports rose 0.20 per cent to $192.9 billion, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

In February, US consumers bought fewer cellular phones from Asian countries and fewer automobiles from Europe, but the trade deficit in the first two months of the year was still 3.1 per cent higher than a year earlier.

The US trade deficit with China dropped to $23 billion in February from $31.3 billion in January.

President Donald Trump, who during last year’s campaign repeatedly accused China of engaging in unfair trade practices, will meet on Thursday with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

Last week, Trump signed two executive orders intended to prevent unfair practices in international trade and identify those he calls “cheaters” and accuses of causing the loss of millions of US manufacturing jobs.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.