The annual trade shortfall shrank nearly 19% to $773.4 billion from a record in 2022, Commerce Department data showed Wednesday. The narrowing of the US trade gap was the first in four years and reflected efforts by companies to limit the buildup in inventories, restraining demand for imports. American consumers’ spending preferences continued to shift toward services and experiences after a pandemic-driven binge on merchandise. A more complex global trading system is showing through in US bilateral trade figures. The nation’s merchandise deficit with China last year shrank 27% to an unadjusted $279.4 billion, the smallest since 2010. The narrowing was the largest in data back to 2002. At the same time, the gap with Mexico grew to a record $152.4 billion.
- Date Posted:
- February 7, 2024
China’s national chip champions expect to make next-generation smartphone processors as early as this year, despite US efforts to restrict their development of advanced technologies. The country’s biggest chipmaker SMIC has put together new semiconductor production lines in Shanghai, according to two people familiar with the move, to mass produce the chips designed by technology giant Huawei. According to two people with knowledge of the plans, SMIC is aiming to use its existing stock of US and Dutch-made equipment to produce more-miniaturised 5-nanometre chips. The production line will make Kirin chips designed by Huawei’s HiSilicon unit and destined for new versions of its premium smartphones. While 5nm chips remain a generation behind the current cutting-edge 3nm ones, the move would show China’s semiconductor industry is still making gradual progress, despite US export controls.