- Time: 6/2/2020 3:47 PM
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- Categories: Economic
International: Al Furat News: The US trade deficit declined for the first time in six years in 2019, as the White House trade war with China curbed imports, keeping the economy at a moderate pace of growth despite a slowdown in consumer spending and weak corporate investment.
The US Commerce Department report showed that President Donald Trump's administration’s “America First” policy slowed the flow of goods last year, as exports declined for the first time since 2016. Trump, who describes himself as a “man of tariffs”, pledges to reduce the deficit to prevent more unfair imports And renegotiate free trade agreements.
Trump says a substantial reduction in the trade deficit will raise annual economic growth to 3 percent on a sustainable basis. But the economy failed to reach that level, growing 2.3 percent in 2019, the slowest rate in three years, after growing 2.9 percent in 2018.
The trade deficit fell 1.7 percent to 616.8 billion dollars last year, as it fell for the first time since 2013. That constituted 2.9 percent of GDP, down from three percent in 2018. Goods imports fell 1.7 percent last year amid sharp declines in materials, industrial supplies and consumer goods And other commodities. Imports fell 1.3 percent, led by declines in shipments of capital goods, supplies and industrial goods, along with other goods.
The commodity trade deficit with China, which is politically sensitive, tumbled 17.6 percent to $ 345.6 billion in 2019.
After the adjustment in light of inflation, the commodity trade deficit in December increased by $ 4.3 billion to $ 80.5 billion.
The economy grew at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of the year, in line with the rate it achieved in the period from July to September.
Adding to expectations that the economy will grow at a moderate pace this year, US service activity increased in January, as companies registered increases in new supply orders.
The Institute of Supply Management said Wednesday that its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 55.5 last month, the highest level since August. December data was slightly revised down to 54.9 instead of 55 in the previous reading.
A reading above fifty indicates growth in the service sector, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the index to remain unchanged at 55 in January.
Ali al-Rubaie ended