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US Jan trade deficit down to US$41.8b
[WASHINGTON] The US trade deficit narrowed in January from a more than two-year high after port disputes on the West Coast restrained imports and a strengthening dollar slowed overseas demand.
The gap declined to US$41.8 billion in January from a revised US$45.6 billion the month before, the Commerce Department reported onFriday in Washington.
The data reflected a labor dispute at West Coast ports that skewed both imports and exports, disrupting supply chains for US companies. Imports fell by 3.9 per cent, Friday's figures showed, while exports dropped by 2.9 per cent.
The distortion in the January data is "not representative of the future trend," David Sloan, senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York, said before the report. "The US is increasingly becoming the main global motor of growth, though we may lose a little momentum later into the year, particularly if the Fed starts tightening."