U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected caused by an increase in domestic demand and a strong dollar.
The Bad News:
The deficit increased 7.1 percent to $43.8B. The dollar has gained up to 15 percent against some the U.S.’s main trading partners since June of last year making imports cheaper.
The Good News:
The U.S. economy expanded at 2.3 percent, had stronger than forecasted construction and factory inventory data. Economists expect GDP to be revised up to as high as 3.0 percent annual rate. Annual percentage growth had averaged 2 percent since 2011.
What Does This Mean for Florida?
Florida exports are more expensive, which means exports will slow down and imports will increase as the dollar strengthens over other currencies. Imports also contribute to the economy and the import process helps support hundreds of jobs as imports come in through our ports and require the use of transportation and logistics services in Florida. Imports are also inputs/components in Florida origin exports (such as aircraft/aviation parts) which later get exported. Cheaper imports will be a cost-savings to many manufactures and help improve profitability.
You Can Get Involved:
Help us find solutions by driving discussions during the Florida Chamber’s International Days event, where global and national leaders will convene to discuss how we can make Florida a more globally competitive state.