Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Trade Deficit increased in May to $41.9 Billion

by Bill McBride on 7/07/2015 08:41:00 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 $41.9 billion in May, up $1.2 billion from $40.7 billion in April, revised. May exports were $188.6 billion, $1.5 billion less than April exports. May imports were $230.5 billion, $0.3 billion less than April imports.
The trade deficit was close to the consensus forecast of $42.0 billion.

The first graph shows the monthly U.S. exports and imports in dollars through May 2015.

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

Imports decreased and exports also decreased in May.

Exports are 14% above the pre-recession peak and down 4% compared to May 2014; imports are at the pre-recession peak, and down 4% compared to May 2014. 

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

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 (wild swings over earlier this year were due to port slowdown.

Oil imports averaged $50.76 in May, up from $46.52 in April, and down from $96.12 in May 2014.  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 decreased to $28.8 billion in May, from $30.4 billion in May 2014. The deficit with China is a large portion of the overall deficit.