Thursday, October 11, 2012

Trade Deficit increased in August to $44.2 Billion

by Bill McBride on 10/11/2012 09:08:00 AM

The Department of Commerce reported:

[T]otal August exports of $181.3 billion and imports of $225.5 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $44.2 billion, up from $42.5 billion in July, revised. August exports were $1.9 billion less than July exports of $183.2 billion. August imports were $0.2 billion less than July imports of $225.7 billion.
June was revised from $42.0 billion. The trade deficit was larger than the consensus forecast of $44.0 billion.

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

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

Both exports and imports decreased in August. It appears that the global economic weakness is impacting both exports and imports.

Exports are 9% above the pre-recession peak and up 2% compared to August 2011; imports are 3% below the pre-recession peak, and up about 1% compared to August 2011.

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

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 $94.36 in August, up slightly from $93.83 per barrel in July. Import oil prices will probably increase further in September. The trade deficit with China decreased slightly to $28.7 billion in August, down from $29.0 billion in August 2011. Still, most of the trade deficit is due to oil and China.

The trade deficit with the euro area was $9.7 billion in August, up from $7.8 billion in August 2011.