March 13, 2023

U.S. Trade Deficit Increased In January And So Did Canadian Trade Surplus

Connecting the Dots monitors all major economic announcements in the United States and Canada, but MSCI also offers industrial metals industry-specific data products that provide much deeper analysis and insight. Visit MSCI’s website and click on industry data to learn more about our Metals Activity Report (MAR)Momentum Monitors, and Economic Pulse.

Meanwhile, here are the major economic headlines from the last week:

  • The U.S. trade deficit was $68.3 billion in January, up $1.1 billion from December. January exports were $257.5 billion, $8.5 billion more than December exports. January imports were $325.8 billion, $9.6 billion more than in December. The January increase in the goods and services deficit reflected a decline in the goods deficit of $0.6 billion to $90.1 billion and a decrease in the services surplus of $1.7 billion to $21.8 billion.
  • According to Statistics Canada, the country recorded a trade surplus of C$1.9 billion in January due to broad-based gains in exports. Imports were up, but by a smaller margin, as the country took in more motor vehicles and parts. Analysts had forecast a trade deficit of C$60 million in January. Read the full report here.
  • U.S. employers  added 311,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate edged up to 3.6 percent. Notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, government, and health care. Employment declined in information and in transportation and warehousing.
  • The Canadian economy added 22,000 jobs in February, more than double the 10,000 number that analysts had predicted. The country’s unemployment rate also held steady at five percent and wages grew 5.4 percent between February 2022 and February 2023. Read the full report here.
  • New orders of factory goods in the United States fell $8.9 billion (1.6 percent) to $542.8 billion in January. Shipments increased $3.8 billion or 0.7 percent to $547.8 billion. The value of unfilled orders was virtually unchanged while the unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 6.07, up from 6.06 in December. Inventories, up five consecutive months, increased $0.4 billion to $808.3 billion. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.48, down from 1.49 in December. Read the full report here.
  • The number of job openings  in the United States fell to 10.8 million in January, down 410,000 from December but still exceeding the number of people looking for work. In fact, there are now 1.9 job openings for every person available to fill them. The number of manufacturing job openings in January was 803,000, up from 797,000 in December. In other employment-related news: the number of people who filed for U.S. unemployment benefits for the first time ever, and the number of people who continued to file for benefits, rose over the last two weeks. Read that full report here.

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