(Reuters) – The U.S. trade deficit fell to a seven-month low in April as exports rose to a record high, lifted by an increase in shipments of industrial materials and soybeans.
FILE PHOTO – Shipping containers are stacked for storage at Wando Welch Terminal operated by the South Carolina Ports Authority in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, U.S. May 10, 2018. Picture taken May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill
Wednesday’s report from the Commerce Department was the latest sign of robust economic growth in the second quarter.
But a protectionist trade policy being pursued by President Donald Trump, which has seen the United States slapping tariffs on imports from a host of countries including China, Mexico and Canada, as well as those in the European Union, poses a threat to the otherwise rosy economic outlook.
“One is hard-pressed as to not concur that the U.S. economy not only remains on solid footing, but is likely to show an accelerated pace of growth in the second quarter,” said Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.