Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Trade Deficit at $41.1 Billion in May

by Bill McBride on 7/06/2016 08:41:00 AM

From 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 $41.1 billion in May, up $3.8 billion from $37.4 billion in April, revised. May exports were $182.4 billion, $0.3 billion less than April exports. May imports were $223.5 billion, $3.4 billion more than April imports.
The trade deficit was larger than the consensus forecast of $40.0 billion.

The first graph shows the monthly U.S. exports and imports in dollars through May 2016.

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

Imports increased and exports decreased in May.

Exports are 10% above the pre-recession peak and down 4% compared to May 2015; imports are 4% below the pre-recession peak, and down 3% compared to May 2015. 

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.

Oil imports averaged $34.19 in May, up from $29.48 in April, and down from $50.76 in May 2015.  The petroleum deficit has generally been declining and is the major reason the overall deficit has declined a little since early 2012.

The trade deficit with China decreased to $29.0 billion in May, from $30.3 billion in May 2015. The deficit with China is a substantial portion of the overall deficit.