U.S. trade in goods and services plunged in April to the lowest level in almost a decade as the Covid-19 pandemic stifled demand and hindered logistics.
Exports declined from the prior month by 20.5%, the biggest drop in comparable data back to 1992, to $151.3 billion. Imports decreased 13.7%, also the most since 1992, to $200.7 billion. Combined, the value of U.S. exports and imports decreased to $352 billion, the lowest since May 2010, Commerce Departmentdata released Thursday showed.
The overall gap in goods and services trade expanded to $49.4 billion, matching the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists and the widest since August, from a revised $42.3 billion in March.
Foreign trade was already easing prior to the pandemic, and now, faced with supply-chain disruptions, a previously incomprehensible surge in U.S. unemployment and a drop-off in demand, the world’s largest economy has pulled back more dramatically. Tensions between the U.S. and China have been escalating, with President Donald Trump blaming the Asian nation for misleading the world about the scale and risk of the coronavirus outbreak.
28,633 in BrazilMost new cases today
-8% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-0.9801 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23
-2.3% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), May