Half of the US population has already received vaccinations to provide complete protection against SARS-CoV-2, prompting authorities across the country to lift epidemic restrictions on the economy, increasing demand for services such as travel.
The US Commerce Department said on Tuesday that, according to seasonally adjusted data, the deficit started at $68.9 billion in April, down 8.2 percent, or $6.1 billion, from $75 billion in March. Analysts had expected a slightly larger deficit of $69 billion from April.
Exports of goods and services increased by $2.3 billion, or 1.1 percent, to $205 billion, while imports fell by $3.8 billion, or 1.4 percent, to $273.9 billion. Imports of consumer goods decreased the most, by $2.6 billion, with imports of clothing, various toys, sports equipment, and household appliances, but less than cars, parts and engines. Imports of mobile phones, food, beverages and feed, as well as capital goods, also rose.
Capital goods exports increased by $2.1 billion, reflecting increased demand for commercial aircraft. Exports of industrial equipment and raw materials rose to record levels, but the value of food, feed and beverage exports rose, while exports of cars and spare parts declined.
In April, in the politically sensitive relationship with China, the US deficit in the trade balance in goods decreased by $7.1 billion to $32.4 billion. The US trade deficit with the European Union narrowed by $1 billion to $16.1 billion.
On average for the three months ending in April, the US trade deficit rose 51.4 percent year on year, to $24.2 billion, to $71.52 billion. Compared to the three-month moving average in March, the deficit widened by $0.6 billion, following a three-month moving average of $3.9 billion in exports, $270.3 billion in imports, and $270.3 billion in imports.
The consumption of Americans confined to their homes at the time of the pandemic has shifted towards products rather than services. Most spending on hospitality, holidays, and other services was spent on purchasing products that made the comfort of home, work, and study easier, but in many cases these products were imported into the country.
In the January-March period, foreign trade was already the third consecutive quarter of marked downward trend in GDP growth, which may change in the current quarter and may lead to a very slight but already rise in GDP.
This year, the US economic growth rate may exceed 7 percent, the best number since 1984. Last year, the US economy had its worst performance in 74 years with a 3.5 percent decline.