Friday, November 03, 2017

Trade Deficit at $43.5 Billion in September

by Bill McBride on 11/03/2017 11:11:00 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 $43.5 billion in September, up $0.7 billion from $42.8 billion in August, revised. September exports were $196.8 billion, $2.1 billion more than August exports. September imports were $240.3 billion, $2.8 billion more than August imports.
U.S. Trade Exports Imports Click on graph for larger image.

Exports and imports increased in September.

Exports are 19% above the pre-recession peak and up 5% compared to September 2016; imports are 3% above the pre-recession peak, and up 6% compared to September 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 $45.16 in September, up from $44.11 in August, and up from $39.01 in September 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 $34.6 billion in September, from $32.5 billion in September 2016.