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The U.S. total trade deficit rose to a six-month high of $47.06 billion despite mounting signs of an American economic slowdown and many of the best oil-related trade numbers in more than a decade. Combined goods and services exports and imports both improved, but their January levels were multi-year lows. February services imports of $41.80 billion hit a new monthly record.

The chronic bilateral goods deficit with China narrowed but the longstanding manufacturing shortfall widened and both are running well ahead of 2015’s record levels. Meanwhile, the case for President Obama’s Pacific Rim trade deal was weakened again by a high goods deficit with Korea – whose bilateral trade deal with the United States is the TPP’s model.

Here are selected highlights of the latest monthly (February) trade balance figures released this morning by the Census Bureau:

>Despite signs of a slowing U.S. economy and an historically low oil products trade deficit figure, the nation’s goods and services trade deficit hit a six-month high in February, rising 2.57 percent over January’s upwardly revised $45.88 billion to $47.06 billion.

>America’s oil trade shortfall sank 23.15 percent in February to $3.55 billion – its lowest level before adjusting for deflation since March, 1999. Current dollar oil-related imports dropped by 11.77 percent on month to $9.85 billion – their lowest level since September, 2002.

>Current dollar oil-related exports slipped as well – by 3.74 percent, from $6.55 billion to $6.30 billion. That total is the lowest since September, 2010.

>In another milestone, U.S. services imports in February rose by 0.63 percent from upwardly revised January levels to $41.80 billion – an all-time high.

>Overall U.S. exports inched up by 1.01 percent in February, from a downwardly adjusted $176.29 billion to $178.07 billion. The January export total was the smallest since June, 2011.

>Combined goods and services imports were up 1.33 percent on month, from an upwardly revise $222. 17 billion to $225. 13 billion. The former had been the lowest figure since April, 2011.

>The February numbers brought 2016’s goods and services trade shortfall to $92.94 billion – up 13.14 percent from 2015 levels.

>Overall 2016 exports are now down by 5.47 percent on an annual basis, but combined imports are off only 2.13 percent.

>The longstanding U.S. merchandise trade deficit with China dipped by 2.84 percent on month in February, from $28.93 billion to $28.12 billion. This shortfall has now decreased for five of the last six months, but remains by far America’s largest trade gap with an individual competitor or regional grouping.

>February’s results bring the 2016 merchandise trade deficit with China to $57.05 billion – up 11.53 percent from the comparable 2015 totals.

>America’s chronic manufacturing trade deficit ticked up by 0.70 percent in Feb – from January’s $65.44 billion to $65.89 billion.

>Manufacturing exports rose sequentially by 4.16 percent in February, but the much larger amount of manufacturing imports increased by 2.59 percent.

>Year on year, the manufacturing trade deficit is now running 14.08 percent ahead of 2015’s record levels.

>America’s trade deficit in high tech goods rose in February as well – by 3.21 percent over January levels, to $5.14 billion. U.S. high tech exports advanced by 0.40 percent on month in February, while imports increased by 0.86 percent.

>The high tech deficit is now running 24.91 percent ahead of 2015 levels.

>In developments with other important competitors, the U.S. goods deficit with South Korea – whose recent trade deal with the United States is the model for President Obama’s proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement – fell sequentially in February by 9.95 percent, to $2.45 billion.

>This monthly total, however, is more than four times the level of March, 2012, when the bilateral agreement went into effect.

>U.S. goods exports to Korea were down on month by 3.18 percent to $3.09 billion – their smallest monthly total since September, 2013.

>U.S. goods imports from Korea declined by 6.30 percent sequentially, to $5.54 billion.

>The oil-heavy U.S. goods deficit with Canada plunged by nearly 60 percent on month, to $1.02 billion, led by the lowest import total ($21.82 billion) since February, 2010.

>Yet the U.S. merchandise shortfall with its other partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexico, increased by 14.55 percent in February. The goods trade gaps with the Eurozone and Japan rose by 8.97 percent and 9.42 percent, respectively, on month.

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