Friday, February 10, 2006

December U.S Trade Deficit: $65.7 Billion

by Bill McBride on 2/10/2006 10:34:00 AM

Please see Dr. Setser's comments: Big, and getting bigger.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the U.S. trade deficit for December was $65.7 Billion.

Click on graph for larger image.

And on an annual basis, the AP reports: U.S. Trade Deficit Hits All-Time High

The U.S. trade deficit soared to an all-time high of $725.8 billion in 2005, pushed upward by record imports of oil, food, cars and other consumer goods. The deficit with China hit an all-time high as did America's deficits with Japan, Europe, OPEC, Canada, Mexico and South and Central America.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that the gap between what America sells abroad and what it imports rose to $725.8 billion last year, up by 17.5 percent from the previous record of $617.6 billion set in 2004.

It marked the fourth consecutive year that America's trade deficit has set a record as American consumers continued their seemingly insatiable demand for all things foreign from new cars to televisions and electronic goods.
The U.S. trade deficit with China rose to a record $201.6 billion last year, the highest deficit ever recorded with any country and 24.5 percent above the previous record of $161.9 billion set in 2004. Part of that increase reflected a 42.6 percent increase in imports of Chinese clothing and textiles, which soared at the beginning of the year after the removal of global quotas.
The United States also recorded record deficits with Japan at $82.7 billion. Until it was surpassed by China in 2000, Japan was the country that had the largest trade gap each year with the United States.

America's trade deficit set records with much of the rest of the world as well. Among those records was a $122.4 billion gap with the 25-nation European Union, a $92.7 billion deficit with the nations that belong to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a $76.5 billion deficit with Canada and a $50.1 billion deficit with Mexico. Canada and Mexico are America's partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement. The deficit with the countries of South and Central America rose to a record $50.7 billion last year.

A huge 39.4 percent jump in petroleum imports, which rose to $251.6 billion, was a major factor contributing to last year's deficit increase. The price of those imports rose to an all-time high, reflecting tight global supplies. The United States was forced to import more oil in the fall after Hurricane Katrina caused widespread shutdowns of Gulf Coast production.