Friday, December 05, 2014

Trade Deficit mostly unchanged in October at $43.4 Billion

by Bill McBride on 12/05/2014 11:43:00 AM

Earlier the Department of Commerce reported:

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that the goods and services deficit was $43.4 billion in October, down $0.2 billion from $43.6 billion in September, revised. October exports were $197.5 billion, $2.3 billion more than September exports. October imports were $241.0 billion, $2.1 billion more than September imports.
The trade deficit was larger than the consensus forecast of $41.5 billion.

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

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

Both imports and exports increased in October.

Exports are 19% above the pre-recession peak and up 2% compared to October 2013; imports are 4% above the pre-recession peak, and up about 3% compared to October 2013. 

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

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 $88.47 in October, down from $92.54 in September, and down from $99.96 in October 2013.  The petroleum deficit has generally been declining and is the major reason the overall deficit has declined since early 2012.

Note: There is a lag due to shipping and long term contracts, but oil prices will really decline over the next several reports!

The trade deficit with China increased to $32.5 billion in October, from $28.7 billion in October 2013.  The deficit with China is a large portion of the overall deficit.