Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Trade Deficit increased in August to $48.3 Billion

by Bill McBride on 10/06/2015 08:42:00 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 $48.3 billion in August, up $6.5 billion from $41.8 billion in July, revised. August exports were $185.1 billion, $3.7 billion less than July exports. August imports were $233.4 billion, $2.8 billion more than July imports.
The trade deficit close to the consensus forecast of $48.6 billion.

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

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

Imports increased and exports decreased in August.

Exports are 12% above the pre-recession peak and down 6% compared to August 2014; imports are 1% above the pre-recession peak, and down 2% compared to August 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 $49.33 in August, down from $54.20 in July, and down from $96.34 in August 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 $35.0 billion in August, from $30.3 billion in August 2014. The deficit with China is a large portion of the overall deficit.