The U.S. trade deficit dropped for the first time in six years in 2019 as the White House’s trade war with China curbed the import bill, helping the economy to continue growing moderately in the fourth quarter despite a slowdown in consumer spending, APA reports citing Reuters.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday the trade deficit fell 1.7% to $616.8 billion last year, the first drop since 2013. Goods imports tumbled 1.7% last year, with exports decreasing 1.3%, showing that the Trump administration’s “America First” agenda decreased the flow of goods.
Goods imports, however, rebounded sharply in December, boosting the trade deficit 11.9% to $48.9 billion that month. Data for November was revised to show the gap tightening to $43.7 billion instead of $43.1 billion as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade gap would widen to $48.2 billion in December.