Thursday, July 06, 2017

Trade Deficit at $46.5 Billion in May

by Bill McBride on 7/06/2017 08:47:00 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 $46.5 billion in May, down $1.1 billion from $47.6 billion in April, revised. May exports were $192.0 billion, $0.9 billion more than April exports. May imports were $238.5 billion, $0.2 billion less than April imports.
U.S. Trade Exports Imports Click on graph for larger image.

Imports decreased and exports increased in May.

Exports are 16% above the pre-recession peak and up 5% compared to May 2016; imports are 3% above the pre-recession peak, and up 7% compared to May 2016.

In general, trade has been picking up.

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 $45.03 in May, down from $45.40 in April, and up from $34.19 in May 2016.  The petroleum deficit had been declining for years - and is the major reason the overall deficit has mostly moved sideways since early 2012. 

The trade deficit with China increased to $31.6 billion in May, from $29.0 billion in May 2016.