USA trade gap narrows in May on record exports

Canada's trade deficit expanded in May despite exports that have risen almost 18 per cent in the past year

United States trade deficit decreased by 2.3 per cent in May on the back of a slight increase in exports, which took it to the highest level in more than two years, data released by the Commerce Department showed.

Although the trade deficit nearly doubled to C$1.09 billion ($845 million), that was partly due to one-time imports of five new airliners.

The Commerce Department did not revise data on April trade deficit, which stood unchanged at $47.6 billion.

For example, imports sometimes rise when the USA economy is doing well and Americans can better afford products from overseas.

Overall exports to the USA edged lower on the month and the bilateral trade surplus declined to C$3.5bn from C$4.8bn the previous month as imports increased to a record high.

Nonetheless, he forecast that net imports continued to exert a small drag in the second quarter. US exports rose modestly to $192 billion - the highest level since April 2015 - on rising shipments of cars and consumer goods, including cellphones. In addition, exports to China rose 3.6%, and the exports of motor vehicles and parts also increased. Imports of cell phone and other households dropped $0.9 billion.

Exports to Germany gained 7.4 percent. Imports fell 0.1 percent to $238.5 billion.

Decreases in imports of cell phones and other household goods and passenger cars were partly offset by an increase in imports of capital goods.

Import of motor vehicles and parts also declined. Exports are up 6 percent to $957.8 billion.

The U.S. still has sizable deficits with Latin American countries, but the disparity between how much Americans import from Europe and China and how much it exports is shrinking. Imports of goods from China increased 11.6 percent.

The trade gap fell 2.3 percent compared to April to $46.5 billion.

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