Thursday, September 03, 2015

Trade Deficit decreased in July to $41.8 Billion

by Bill McBride on 9/03/2015 08:49:00 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 July, down $3.3 billion from $45.2 billion in June, revised. July exports were $188.5 billion, $0.8 billion more than June exports. July imports were $230.4 billion, $2.5 billion less than June imports.
The trade deficit was smaller than the consensus forecast of $42.9 billion.

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

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

Imports decreased and exports decreased in July.

Exports are 14% above the pre-recession peak and down 4% compared to July 2014; imports are close to the pre-recession peak, and down 3% compared to July 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 earlier this year were due to West Coast port slowdown).

Oil imports averaged $54.20 in July, up from $53.76 in June, and down from $97.81 in July 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 increased to $31.6 billion in July, from $30.9 billion in July 2014. The deficit with China is a large portion of the overall deficit.