Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Trade Deficit at $53.1 Billion in December

by Bill McBride on 2/06/2018 08:43:00 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 $53.1 billion in December, up $2.7 billion from $50.4 billion in November, revised. December exports were $203.4 billion, $3.5 billion more than November exports. December imports were $256.5 billion, $6.2 billion more than November imports.
U.S. Trade Exports Imports Click on graph for larger image.

Both exports and imports increased in December.

Exports are 23% above the pre-recession peak and up 7% compared to December 2016; imports are 10% above the pre-recession peak, and up 10% compared to December 2016.

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 $52.10 in December, up from $50.10 in November, and up from $41.40 in December 2016. The petroleum deficit had been declining for years (although the petroleum deficit has been fairly steady for the last few years) this is the major reason the overall deficit has mostly moved sideways since early 2012 - although the overall deficit is increasing again.

The trade deficit with China increased to $30.8 billion in December, from $27.7 billion in December 2016.