Friday, December 04, 2015

Trade Deficit increased in October to $43.9 Billion

by Bill McBride on 12/04/2015 10:04:00 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 $43.9 billion in October, up $1.4 billion from $42.5 billion in September, revised. October exports were $184.1 billion, $2.7 billion less than September exports. October imports were $228.0 billion, $1.3 billion less than September imports.
The trade deficit was larger than the consensus forecast of $40.6 billion.

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

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

Imports and exports decreased in October.

Exports are 11% above the pre-recession peak and down 7% compared to October 2014; imports are 2% below the pre-recession peak, and down 5% compared to October 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 $40.12 in October, down from $42.72 in September, and down from $88.47 in October 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 $33.0 billion in October, from $32.5 billion in October 2014. The deficit with China is a substantial portion of the overall deficit.