U.S. Trade Deficit Falls

CBJ — The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six months in November amid declines in imports of cellphones and petroleum products, leading economists to boost their economic growth estimates for the fourth quarter.

There is little doubt that U.S. President Donald Trump will take significant credit for the turnaround due to his unrelenting “America First” campaign.

The consumer goods-led drop in imports reported by the U.S. Commerce Department would normally raise concerns about slowing domestic demand. But the sharp drop followed five straight monthly increases, which economists said reflected businesses stockpiling imported goods as the trade war between the United States and China escalated.

The trade deficit dropped 11.5% to $49.3 billion in November. It had increased for five straight months.

Of most significance, the trade deficit with China fell to $37.9 in November from $43.1 billion in October.