Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trade Deficit increased sharply in May to $50.2 billion

by Bill McBride on 7/12/2011 08:30:00 AM

The Department of Commerce reports:

[T]otal May exports of $174.9 billion and imports of $225.1 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $50.2 billion, up from $43.6 billion in April, revised. May exports were $1.0 billion less than April exports of $175.8 billion. May imports were $5.6 billion more than April imports of $219.4 billion.
The first graph shows the monthly U.S. exports and imports in dollars through May 2011.

U.S. Trade Exports Imports Click on graph for larger image.

Exports decreased in May and imports increased (seasonally adjusted). Exports are well above the pre-recession peak and up 15% compared to May 2010; imports are almost back to the pre-recession peak, and up about 16% compared to May 2010.

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.

The petroleum deficit increased in May as both prices and the quantity of oil imported increased. Oil averaged $108.70 per barrel in May, up from $103.18 per barrel in April, and up from $76.95 in May 2010. There is a bit of a lag with prices, and import prices will probably be a little lower in June.

The trade deficit with China increased to $24.96 billion, so once again the deficit is mostly oil and China.

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