29 de febrero de 2020
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
English - News

US trade deficit declines for 1st time in 6 years amid trade tensions

 View of containers at the Port of Oakland, California.. EFE-EPA/JOHN G. MABANGLO/File

View of containers at the Port of Oakland, California.. EFE-EPA/JOHN G. MABANGLO/File

By Alfonso Fernandez

Washington, Feb 5 (efe-epa).- For the first time in six years, the US trade deficit in goods and services declined in 2019, falling by 1.7 percent due to the uneven reduction in both imports and exports amid the trade and tariff war and slower global growth.

The accumulated trade deficit during 2019 was $616.8 billion, the lowest registered since 2013.

In its report released on Wednesday, the Department of Commerce said that last year US exports fell by 0.1 percent to $2.5 trillion, while imports declined by 0.4 percent to $3.1 trillion.

Although the overall deficit declined in 2019, in December the monthly deficit grew by 12 percent to $48.9 billion.

The big contributor to the decline in the trade deficit last year was the reduction in the trade imbalance in goods with China, with that figure falling by 17.6 percent to $345.6 billion, with declines in both imports - by 16.2 percent - and in exports (11.3 percent) within the framework of the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing.

The figures were released after in January President Donald Trump, who came into office in January 2017 with an aggressive agenda of economic protectionism, touted the conclusion of the "first phase" of a trade pact with China as a victory, an agreement whereby the two parties are seeking to reduce bilateral trade tensions and tit-for-tat rounds of tariff hikes on each other's goods.

The trade war accounts for a good part of the decline in the trade deficit with China, according to Ward McCarthy, the chief financial economic for the Jefferies LLC consulting group.

The dispute between the two largest economies in the world has consequences far beyond US and Chinese borders and both countries have seen their growth rates reduced in recent months.

The US economy slowed down in 2019 to a 2.3 percent growth rate from 2.9 percent in 2018.

Meanwhile, China's GDP rose by 6 percent (on an interannual basis) in the third quarter, the worst quarterly figured to be announced since March 1992, when Beijing began officially reporting such data.

In addition, Trump managed early this year to deliver on another of his big promises: signing the new North American trade pact with Canada and Mexico, known as the USMCA and designed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Nevertheless, the US trade deficit with Mexico hit an historic high in 2019 of $101.8 billion, $21.1 billion more than in 2018.

This performance comes despite Trump's promises to rebalance the deficit that, he claims, is due to the unfair treatment given to the US by its trade partners.

In fact, economists say that the trade balance is not a significant indicator of a country's economic health.

The US, as the world's largest economy, is often seen to increase its trade deficits during good economic times as Americans' appetites for imports grows.

In its latest forecasts - released at the Global Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month - the International Monetary Fund predicted that the moderation in US growth would continue, coming in at 2 percent in 2020 after showing 2.3 percent growth in 2019, and being further dampened in 2021 to 1.7 percent.

The numbers for China, despite the deceleration in its growth rate noted by the IMF, are still far above those for most other countries, and the forecast is for 6 percent growth in 2020 and 5.8 percent in 2021.

Even so, this is a drop from the 6.1 percent growth Beijing enjoyed in 2019, which nevertheless is the lowest growth rate reported since 1990.

 600x350

Comentarios

Histórico de noticias
Wall Street plunges on coronavirus fears, Dow down record 1,190 points

New York, Feb 27 (EFE).- Wall Street once again suffered heavy losses in its three main indicators during the last minutes of trading on Thursday with the...

Facebook cancels annual developer conference due to coronavirus

San Francisco, Feb 27 (efe-epa).- US multinational Facebook on Thursday cancelled its annual F8 developer conference, which had been scheduled for May 5-6...

US confirms modest 2.3 pct. economic growth in 2019

By Hernan Martin

Activists in Buenos Aires call for ban on killer robots

Buenos Aires, Feb 26 (efe-epa).- Headed by Nobel Peace Prizewinner Jody Williams, a group of activist members of "The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots" on...

Program to restore US coral reefs gets $3.5 million donation from UAE

Miami, Feb 26 (efe-epa).- An ambitious program to restore seven coral reefs in the Florida Keys has received a $3.5 million donation from the United Arab...

Spain, 1st European country to cancel Placido Domingo concerts

Madrid, Feb 26 (efe-epa).- After an investigation by the US union representing opera performers that confirmed the accusations of sexual harassment and...

Bob Iger stepping down as Disney CEO

New York, Feb 25 (efe-epa).- Disney CEO Bob Iger, who has headed the firm for the past 15 years, is stepping down from the post, effective immediately, and...

Rio Sambodromo brings down curtain but Carnival still going strong in Brazi

Brasilia, Feb 25 (efe-epa).- Rio de Janeiro's Sambodromo arena on Tuesday morning brought down the curtain on this year's Carnival celebration, but Brazil's...

Ben Affleck takes advantage of his love for Spanish in "The Way Back"

By Alicia Civita

More than 20 Miami musicians organize 1st anti-communist concert in US

Miami, Feb 25 (efe-epa).- A group of Hispanic singers and musicians, most of them of Cuban origin and including Willy Chirino and Arturo Sandoval, on April...

Bloomberg sharpens attacks on Sanders after senator's Nevada caucus win

New York, Feb 24 (efe-epa).- The presidential campaign of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday sharpened its attacks on Bernie Sanders after...

Katherine Johnson, mathematician who took man to the Moon, dies

Washington, Feb 24 (efe-epa).- "If she says they're good, then I'm ready to go," said US astronaut John Glenn, the first man to orbit the Earth before his...

Weinstein hospitalized for heart palpiations following conviction

By Carles Escola

High tech firms establishing roots in Nevada's wild west

By Marc Arcas

Trump blasts South Korean film 'Parasite,' Brad Pitt at Colorado rally

Los Angeles, USA, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States took advantage of a campaign rally this Thursday in Colorado to criticize the Oscars...

Brazil's Carnival continues with marked feminist accent

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- Brazil's nationwide Carnival celebration continued on Sunday with a marked feminist accent emphasized by a band that drew...

America; a disjointed continent.

2019 closed with a tense atmosphere in the Americas; especially in South American politics and democracy.

Trump kicks off Daytona 500 in Florida, but rain delays the race

Miami, Feb 16 (efe-epa)- President Donald Trump kicked off the Daytona 500 under initially sunny skies at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida on...

Dominican municipal elections suspended due to technical problems

Santo Domingo, Feb 16 (EFE).- The Dominican Republic's Central Election Board (JCE) on Sunday suspended the nationwide municipal elections after multiple...

U2's Bono, UN denounce educational disadvantage for girls around world

United Nations, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- Singer Bono and the United Nations on Tuesday denounced the "dramatic disadvantage" in education being suffered by female...

Guaido beaten by mob upon landing in Caracas

Caracas, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- Opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognized as Venezuela's legitimate interim president by more than 50 nations, on Tuesday was...

Samsung presents Galaxy Z Flip, first foldable smartphone

San Francisco, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- South Korean multinational Samsung on Tuesday presented its new foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Flip, this model with a...

Fed's Powell warns of economic risks of coronavirus amid Trump's attacks

By Alfonso Fernandez

Final Iowa caucus recount gives Buttigieg delegate win

Washington, Feb 9 (efe-epa).- Almost a week after the Iowa caucuses, the Democratic Party announced Sunday that former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete...