Friday, September 02, 2016

Trade Deficit at $39.5 Billion in July

by Bill McBride on 9/02/2016 12:51:00 PM

Earlier 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 $39.5 billion in July, down $5.2 billion from $44.7 billion in June, revised. July exports were $186.3 billion, $3.4 billion more than June exports. July imports were $225.8 billion, $1.8 billion less than June imports.
The trade deficit was smaller than the consensus forecast of $41.3 billion.

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

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

Imports decreased and exports increased in July.

Exports are 13% above the pre-recession peak and down 2% compared to July 2015; imports are also down 2% compared to July 2015. 

It appears trade might be picking up a little.

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 $41.02 in July, up from $39.38 in June, and down from $54.20 in July 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 $30.3 billion in July, from $31.7 billion in July 2015. The deficit with China is a substantial portion of the overall deficit.