US trade gap narrows following decline in exports

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

The US trade gap narrowed in November 2015 as exports fell to their lowest level since early 2012.

New US economic data has shown a decline in export levels during November 2015, which served to close the country's trade deficit slightly.

The country's exports slipped by 0.9 per cent to $182.2 billion (£125.3 billion) in November, with imports falling even more sharply by 1.7 per cent to $224.6 billion. This meant that the trade gap narrowed five per cent from the prior month to $42.37 billion.

Exports dropped to their lowest level since early 2012, while the performance of the importing sector was the worst since February 2011. This is demonstrative of the volatility of international trade conditions in the US in recent times.

The nation's economy has continued to expand at a slow but steady rate over the last few months despite the contraction in trade, but a slowdown in global commerce and low commodity prices have proved a drag.

Additionally, the US dollar remains unusually strong, which is positive for US economic growth in the long term but remains a challenge for export-driven businesses at present.

Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester recently commented on the trend, saying: "Slower growth in our trading partners and the dollar appreciation are drags on US export growth, and I expect net exports to be a negative influence on real GDP growth for somewhat longer."