U.S. trade deficit shrank to 51.1 billion U.S. dollars in January, the sharpest decline since March 2018, data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce showed.
The 8.8-billion-dollar month-over-month decrease, or 14.6 percent, came along with a year-over-year drop in goods and services deficit of 1.9 billion dollars, or 3.7 percent, from January 2018.
Exports rose to 207.3 billion dollars, a 1.9 billion-dollar increase from December, while imports dropped to 258.5 billion dollars, down 6.8 billion dollars from the previous month, the data showed. The December deficit figure was revised to 59.9 billion dollars.
With regard to specific countries and areas, China still runs the largest trade surplus with the United States, trailed by the European Union (EU) and Mexico.
U.S. goods deficit with China decreased to 33.2 billion dollars in January, down 5.5 billion dollars from December.
As for goods and services trade, of which the department said figures are only available quarterly, Beijing recorded a 102.6-billion-dollar surplus over Washington in the fourth quarter of 201, up 6.3 billion dollars compared with the previous quarter.
The United States had a 13.1-billion-dollar red ink in goods balance with the EU in January. The country also bought more goods from Mexico than it sold to the southern neighbor during the same month, resulting in a net outflow of 7.2 billion dollars.