Friday, March 09, 2012

Trade Deficit increased in January to $52.6 Billion

by Bill McBride on 3/09/2012 01:52:00 PM

Catching up: The Department of Commerce reports:

[T]otal January exports of $180.8 billion and imports of $233.4 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $52.6 billion, up from $50.4 billion in December, revised. January exports were $2.6 billion more than
December exports of $178.2 billion. January imports were $4.7 billion more than December imports of $228.7 billion.
The trade deficit was above the consensus forecast of $49 billion.

The first graph shows the monthly U.S. exports and imports in dollars through January 2012.

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

Both exports and imports increased in January. Imports stalled in the middle of 2011, but increased towards the end of the year (seasonally adjusted). Exports are well above the pre-recession peak and up 8% compared to January 2011; imports just passed the pre-recession high and imports are up about 8% compared to January 2011.

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

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.

Oil averaged $103.81 per barrel in January, down slightly from December.

Both exports and imports to the European Union were up year-over-year in January, with imports increasing faster.