U.S. trade deficit surprised, narrowing 3.4% to -$49.4 B in February
U.S. trade deficit surprised, narrowing 3.4% to -$49.4 B in February after shrinking 14.6% in January to -$51.1 B. It's the smallest since June. Exports rose 1.1% versus the 1.0% prior increase (revised from 0.9%), while imports edged up 0.2% from -2.6%. The data are encouraging and suggest a lot of the trade angst that stalled global growth is unwinding. Excluding petroleum, the deficit it was -$48.2 B from -$50.2 B. The "real" goods balance also narrowed to -$81.8 B versus -$83.5 B (revised from -$83.8 B), with goods exports up 0.6% from 2.2% (revised from 2.1%), and goods imports slipping 0.4% from -2.1% (revised from -2.0%). The deficit with Mexico widened to -$7.4 B from -$5.8 B and it was -$0.1 B with Canada versus -$0.7 B (revised from -$0.8 B). Data are supportive for equities.