U.S. trade deficit in June narrows for third straight month amid cooling demand

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) — The U.S. trade deficit fell by 6.2 percent in June, marking the third straight monthly drop and hitting the lowest level of the year, the Commerce Department reported on Thursday.

Trade deficit narrowed by a revised 2.1 percent in May. The figure shrank by 19.5 percent in April after hitting an all-time high in March, the report showed.

In June, the goods and services deficit fell by 5.3 billion U.S. dollars to reach 79.6 billion dollars.

U.S. imports fell slightly by 0.3 percent to 340.4 billion dollars in June. Exports, meanwhile, rose by 1.7 percent to 260.8 billion dollars, the report showed.

“Slower domestic demand has begun to weigh on import growth and give way to a reversal from a sharp widening to a gradual narrowing in the U.S. trade deficit,” Tim Quinlan and Shannon Seery, economists at Wells Fargo Securities, said in an analysis.

Noting that export growth is also higher, advancing for the fifth consecutive month in June, Quinlan and Seery said the United States is supplying more commodities to Europe as the war in Ukraine continues.

The U.S. economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter after a 1.6-percent contraction in the previous quarter, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s “advance” estimate.

With the first-quarter decline of 1.6 percent, a second consecutive quarter of negative growth meets the technical definition of a recession.