Friday, October 03, 2014

Trade Deficit decreased in August to $40.1 Billion

by Bill McBride on 10/03/2014 01:05:00 PM

Earlier the Department of Commerce reported:

[T]otal August exports of $198.5 billion and imports of $238.6 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $40.1 billion, down from $40.3 billion in July, revised. August exports were $0.4 billion more than July exports of $198.0 billion. August imports were $0.2 billion more than July imports of $238.3 billion.
The trade deficit was smaller than the consensus forecast of $40.7 billion and the trade deficit was revised down slightly for July.

The first graph shows the monthly U.S. exports and imports in dollars through August 2014.

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

Imports and exports increased in August.  

Exports are 19% above the pre-recession peak and up 4% compared to August 2013; imports are 3% above the pre-recession peak, and up about 4% compared to August 2013. 

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 imports averaged $96.32 in August, down from $97.81 in July, and down from $100.27 in August 2013.  The petroleum deficit has generally been declining and is the major reason the overall deficit has declined since early 2012.

The trade deficit with China increased to $30.2 billion in August, from $29.8 billion in August 2013.