Thursday, October 05, 2017

Trade Deficit at $42.4 Billion in August

by Bill McBride on 10/05/2017 09:34:00 AM

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 $42.4 billion in August, down $1.2 billion from $43.6 billion in July, revised. August exports were $195.3 billion, $0.8 billion more than July exports. August imports were $237.7 billion, $0.4 billion less than July imports.
U.S. Trade Exports Imports Click on graph for larger image.

Exports increased, and imports decreased, in August.

Exports are 18% above the pre-recession peak and up 4% compared to August 2016; imports are 2% above the pre-recession peak, and up 4% compared to August 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 $44.11 in August, up from $43.20 in July, and up from $39.38 in August 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 $34.9 billion in August, from $33.9 billion in August 2016.