The United States increased its imports by 21.5% and its exports of products by 21% in February 2022, at year-on-year rates, reported the Department of Commerce.
With this, its imports reached 234.430 million dollars and its exports totaled 150.682 million.
Based on Fed projections, due to the $2 trillion in excess consumer savings and accompanying strong business balance sheets (due to federal stimulus), the strong economic recovery is expected to continue, albeit at a slower pace, until 2022 and until 2023.
The US labor market continues to recover with strong job growth, rapidly rising wages and historically strong labor demand.
Additionally, according to the Federal Reserve, household wealth is at a record level with strong growth in stock prices and home values.
Of total US imports of goods, the main suppliers were China ($42.26 billion), Mexico ($32.536 million), and Canada ($30.923 million).
At the same time, of the total US exports of products, the most outstanding destinations were: Canada (25,284 million dollars), Mexico (23,715 million) and China (11,594 million).
The Federal Reserve also stated that due to high demand and tight supply, many companies were able to maintain profit margins by passing on higher production and labor costs to customers.
However, the ability to pass on costs varied by company depending on its position and size in the market.
Small businesses have experienced greater margin squeeze than larger competitors because the former rely on a smaller population of suppliers.
Also, because they have relied heavily on stimulus programs, it is unclear whether small businesses will be ready for a more normalized environment once their liquidity dwindles.
The strength of the recovery depends on the pandemic disappearing in the course of 2022, which is not a given.
Other risks to the recovery include higher-than-expected inflation, which could weigh on consumer spending, and weaker-than-expected labor supply growth, limiting the supply side of the economy.