U.S. Trade Deficit Grows And Canadian Trade Surplus Narrows
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Meanwhile, here are the major headlines from the last week:
- The U.S. trade deficit expanded 22.3 percent from February to March to a record $109.8 billion. Imports were up by 10.3 percent while exports increased just 5.6 percent. The overall March increase in the deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $20.4 billion to $128.1 billion. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $84.8 billion, or 41.5 percent from the same period in 2021.
- Canada’s trade surplus narrowed to C$2.49 billion from February to March. Imports jumped by 7.7 percent to C$61.14 billion while exports rose 6.3 percent to C$63.63 billion. Canada’s trade surplus with the United States hit an all-time high of C$12.6 billion, while its trade deficit with the rest of the world hit rose to C$10.1 billion.
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, new orders for U.S. manufactured goods increased 2.2 percent in March to $557.3 billion while shipment rose 2.3 percent to $556.4 billion. The value of unfilled orders increased 0.4 percent to nearly $1.3 trillion and unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 6.72, down from 6.74 in February. Inventories were up 1.3 percent to $797.6 billion and inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.43, down from 1.45 in February.
- The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell from 57.1 in March to 55.4 in April and is now at its lowest level since July 2020. New orders, production, exports, and employment all declined. Read the full report here. The S&P Global Canada Manufacturing fell to a seasonally adjusted 56.2 in April from a survey-record high of 58.9 in March, meanwhile. Read that full report here.
- U.S. employers added 428,000 positions in April while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6 percent, a rate that was just above a five-decade low. Manufacturers added 55,000 jobs while average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent in April and are now up 5.5 percent over the past year. In other jobs-related news: there were more than 11.5 job openings in the United States in March, 205,000 more than in February. That number also is a record dating back to 2000. The number of open manufacturing jobs increased from 785,000 in February to 860,000 in March.
- Canada’s unemployment rate fell from 5.3 percent in March to 5.2 percent in April, setting another record low. The economy also gained 15,300 jobs. Average hourly wages were up 3.3 per cent year over year in April compared with a year-over-year gain of 3.4 percent in March.
- In other economic news: U.S. nonfarm business sector labor productivity fell 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2022 as output dropped 2.4 percent and hours worked rose 5.5 percent; and U.S. construction spending rose 0.1 percent from February 2022 to March 2022 and 11.7 percent between March 2021 and March 2022.