U.S. trade deficit narrowed in February as exports rose slightly to a record while imports fell.
Exports of $181.2 billion were $0.2 billion more than January's figures and imports fell by $6.3 billion to $227.2 billion, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced Thursday.
The trade deficit of $46.0 billion, down from $52.5 billion in January, was the lowest in four months and was narrower than the consensus economist estimate of $51.8 billion as compiled by Bloomberg News.
February's exports figures, moreover, were a record high in dollar figures, according to Reuters.
Consumer Goods Boost Exports
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The increases in exports were driven by consumer goods and services while the decreases in imports reflected dips in consumer goods, industrial materials, oil and automobiles.
Imports from China may have fallen partly because of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday; the overall U.S. trade deficit with the country shrank to $19.4 billion, the lowest in 11 months.
Kevin Cummins, an economist at UBS Securities, said: It doesn't appear that exports are likely to be a significant drag on the U.S. economy while imports should increase as U.S. consumer demand picks up, according to Bloomberg.