Thursday, October 24, 2013

Trade Deficit in August at $38.8 Billion

by Bill McBride on 10/24/2013 08:55:00 AM

The Department of Commerce reported this morning:

[T]otal August exports of $189.2 billion and imports of $228.0 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $38.8 billion, up from $38.6 billion in July, revised. August exports were $0.1 billion less than July exports of $189.3 billion. August imports were virtually unchanged at $228.0 billion.
The trade deficit was below the consensus forecast of $40.0 billion.

The first graph shows the monthly U.S. exports and imports in dollars through August 2013.

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

Imports and export were mostly unchanged in August.  

Exports are 14% above the pre-recession peak and up 4% compared to August 2012; imports are 1% below the pre-recession peak, and up about 1% compared to August 2012 (mostly moving sideways).

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 $100.26 in August, up from $97.07 in July, and up from $94.48 in August 2012.  The petroleum deficit has been declining and is the major reason the overall deficit has declined since early 2012.

The trade deficit with China increased to $29.9 billion in August, up from $28.7 billion in August 2012.  The trade deficit is mostly due to oil and China. 

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