The US trade deficit rose 1.9 per cent in January as the coronavirus pandemic continued to disrupt global commerce. The gap between the goods and services the United States sold and what it bought abroad rose to USD 68.2 billion from USD 67 billion in December, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Exports rose 1 per cent to USD 191.9 billion, while imports increased 1.2 per cent to USD 260.2 billion.
The politically sensitive trade gap with China fell 3.2 per cent to USD 27.2 billion. The trade deficit with Mexico rose USD 1.6 billion to USD 11.9 billion in January. The coronavirus has upended trade in services such as education and travel, sections of the economy in which the United States runs persistent surpluses. Measured in dollars, monthly exports of US services have declined by nearly one-fourth since the virus outbreak about a year ago.
Year-over-year, the goods and services deficit climbed to USD 23.8 billion, or 53.7 per cent, from January 2020.