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US February trade balance Dollars -57.6bln vs -56.8bln exp

US February trade balance Dollars -57.6bln vs -56.8bln exp

The gap increased 1.6 per cent in February to US$57.6 billion, compared with the median estimate of economists for US$56.8 billion, Commerce Department data showed on Thursday.

The gap between what Canada sells to the rest of the world and what it buys widened to $2.7 billion in February, as imports surged more than exports did.

Canada sent 75.4 percent of all goods exports to the United States in February and would be hurt if the trilateral agreement collapsed. Both imports and exports increased 1.7% from January.

Strong economic growth, which is drawing in imports, and the Trump administration´s $1.5 trillion income tax cut package will worsen the trade deficit, economists say.

Even before the metal tariffs took effect with exceptions for a number of trading partners, the fees already were making business more hard for USA manufacturers and other buyers.

Several categories of iron and steel imports showed gains in February, according to the trade report.

There were also lower shipments of unwrought gold to Britain in the month. Imports increased $43.6 billion or 9.1 percent.

Overall, imports advanced to $262 billion, boosted by capital goods, industrial supplies and materials, and foods, feeds and beverages. Improving global growth and a weaker dollar have been supporting overseas sales of American-made goods.

China has initiated a complaint with the World Trade Organisation over the USA plans to impose a 25% tax on Chinese-made imports worth about $50bn for what the White House says are unfair intellectual property practices.

The rise in imports was broad based, driven by a 15 percent rise in energy products to the highest level since late-2014.

Canada's trade deficit was 2.69 billion Canadian dollars (about 2.1 billion USA dollars) in February, surging from 1.94 billion Canadian dollars in January as rail transport problems cut exports of wheat and canola, according to Statistics Canada Thursday.

U.S. trade deficit showing no signs of improvement and frankly as a net importing nation, like the United Kingdom, will not be benefitting from any Dollars weakness. The US typically runs a deficit in merchandise trade and a surplus in services.

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