Economic Report: U.S. trade deficit sinks 15% at start of 2019 as China tensions disrupt flow of goods

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The U.S. trade deficit sank 15% in January after soaring at the end of 2018. Sharp swings in the trade gap largely reflect a disruption in trade with China due to U.S. tariffs and retaliatory measures.

The numbers: The trade deficit sank 15% in January, largely reflecting cheaper oil, surging soybean exports and lower Chinese imports tied to disruptions caused by U.S. tariffs.

The deficit shrank to $51.1 billion from a revised $59.9 billion in December, according to a government report that was delayed by the partial federal shutdown early in the year.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a $57.7 billion gap.

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