Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Trade Deficit declines in November to $39.0 Billion

by Bill McBride on 1/07/2015 08:54:00 AM

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 $39.0 billion in November, down $3.2 billion from $42.2 billion in October, revised. November exports were $196.4 billion, $2.0 billion less than October exports. November imports were $235.4 billion, $5.2 billion less than October imports.
The trade deficit was smaller than the consensus forecast of $42.0 billion.

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

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

Both imports and exports decreased in November.

Exports are 18% above the pre-recession peak and up 1% compared to November 2013; imports are 2% above the pre-recession peak, and up about 2% compared to November 2013. 

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

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 $82.95 in November, down from $88.47 in October, and down from $94.69 in November 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 months - and the oil deficit will get much smaller.

The trade deficit with China increased to $29.9 billion in November, from $27.0 billion in November 2013.  The deficit with China is a large portion of the overall deficit.