US trade deficit rises 1.9% in January

The Commerce Department reported today that the U.S. trade deficit increased in January. PHOTO CREDIT: Ted S. Warren

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The U.S. trade deficit rose 1.9% in January as the coronavirus pandemic continued to disrupt global commerce.

The gap between the goods and services the United States sold and what it bought abroad rose to $68.2 billion from $67 billion in December, the Commerce Department reported today. Exports rose 1% to $191.9 billion, while imports increased 1.2% to $260.2 billion.

The politically sensitive trade gap with China fell 3.2% to $27.2 billion. The trade deficit with Mexico rose $1.6 billion to $11.9 billion in January.

The coronavirus has upended trade in services such as education and travel, sections of the economy in which the United States runs persistent surpluses. Measured in dollars, monthly exports of U.S. services have declined by nearly one-fourth since the virus outbreak about a year ago.

Year-over-year, the goods and services deficit climbed to $23.8 billion, or 53.7%, from January 2020.