US Trade Deficit Lessens in February

14 April 2006

    WASHINGTON - America's trade deficit showed a bigger-than-expected improvement in February as the politically sensitive imbalance with China dropped to the lowest level in nearly a year.
    The US Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the nation's trading deficit fell to $65.7 billion (€54.27bn; £37.53bn), a 4.2% decline from January's record nadir of $68.7 billion.
    Despite this snippet of good news, analysts remained pessimistic. "The trade deficit may have narrowed in February but it is hardly clear that this is the start of a long downward trend," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors.
    Also shaking his head was Nigel Gault, an economist with forecasting firm Global Insight. who opined: "The trend still points to a larger deficit in coming months, especially given the recent rises in oil prices."