Thursday, November 08, 2012

Trade Deficit declined in September to $41.5 Billion

by Bill McBride on 11/08/2012 09:25:00 AM

The Department of Commerce reported:

[T]otal September exports of $187.0 billion and imports of $228.5 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $41.5 billion, down from $43.8 billion in August, revised. September exports were $5.6 billion more than August exports of $181.4 billion. September imports were $3.4 billion more than August imports of $225.2 billion.
The trade deficit was smaller than the consensus forecast of $45.4 billion.

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

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

Both exports and imports increased in September. Exports are at a new high.

Exports are 13% above the pre-recession peak and up 3.5% compared to September 2011; imports are 1% below the pre-recession peak, and up about 1.5% compared to September 2011.

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

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 $98.88 in September, up from $94.36 per barrel in August. The trade deficit with China increased to $29.1 billion in September, up from $28.0 billion in September 2011. Most of the trade deficit is due to oil and China.

The trade deficit with the euro area was $7.6 billion in August, up from $6.4 billion in August 2011.

This suggests a small upward revision to Q3 GDP.

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