United States trade gap narrows in May on record exports

Shipping containers are seen at the Port Newark Container Terminal in Newark New Jersey

All in all, two-way trade between Canada and the US rose to $98.5 billion in May, also a record.

The goods deficit with Mexico was $6.8 billion, while the goods deficit with China, which the White House has targeted with accusations of unfair trade, fell 6.2 percent to $30.1 billion.

The report said the trade deficit narrowed to $46.5 billion in May from $47.6 billion in April.

With exports rising and imports falling, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed in the month of May. That suggests trade will be a drag on gross domestic product in the second quarter after contributing 0.23 percentage points to the economy's 1.4% annualised growth pace in the first three months of the year. Exports to China increased 3.6%.

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Exports rose 0.4 percent to $192 billion in May, the highest since April 2015.

The latest Bank of Canada business outlook survey recorded an increase in confidence surrounding overseas orders and exports which should help underpin confidence in the outlook. The gap with Mexico rose by 5.6 percent to $6.8 billion. But imports are up more - 7.3 percent to $1.19 trillion. Imports fell 0.1 percent to $238.5 billion. Imports of motor vehicles and parts rose strongly and aircraft imports jumped on the month which pushed overall imports higher.

In the first five months of 2017, the value of USA imports rose 7.3% and US exports increased 6.0% compared with the same period a year earlier.

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