Prior to the release of US International Trade, predictions for another record trade deficit were in store of the month of March, with a move expected to reflect a jump in imports and exports post-February, as well as stronger US demand.
Bottlenecks and container shortages were expected to continue with fluctuating lifts of the pandemic restrictions and wobbly vaccine rollouts throwing a spanner in the works of global supply chains, shipping rates were expected to be far above pre-pandemic levels.
The figure released at -74.4B ( Forecast -74.3B)
March exports were $200.0 billion, $12.4 billion more than February exports. March imports were $274.5 billion, $16.4 billion more than February imports.
The March increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $3.6 billion to $91.6 billion and a decrease in the services surplus of $0.3 billion to $17.1 billion.
Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $83.2 billion, or 64.2 percent, from the same period in 2020. Exports decreased $21.0 billion or 3.5 percent. Imports increased $62.2 billion or 8.5 percent.
Exports increased in areas such as industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, electric apparatus & artwork and collectables, but decreased in Natural Gas.
Imports increased in consumer goods, textile apparel and household goods, toys, games and sporting goods, industrial supplies and materials and other petroleum products to name a few, with decreases coming from cells phones and other household goods.