Friday, July 10, 2009

Trade Deficit Declined in May

by Bill McBride on 7/10/2009 08:30:00 AM

The Census Bureau reports:

The ... total May exports of $123.3 billion and imports of $149.3 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $26.0 billion, down from $28.8 billion in April, revised. May exports were $1.9 billion more than April exports of $121.4 billion. May imports were $0.9 billion less than April imports of $150.2 billion.
U.S. Trade Deficit Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the monthly U.S. exports and imports in dollars through May 2009.

Imports declined again in May, but U.S. exports were up slightly. On a year-over-year basis, exports are off 21% and imports are off 31%.

The second graph shows the U.S. trade deficit, with and without petroleum, through May.

U.S. Trade Deficit The blue line is the total deficit, and the black line is the petroleum deficit, and the red line is the trade deficit ex-petroleum products.

Import oil prices increased slightly to $51.21 in May - the third monthly increase in a row. Spot prices have increased since May, so oil prices will rise further for June and July.

It appears the cliff diving for U.S. trade might be over - especially for U.S. exports.