Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Trade Deficit at $56.6 Billion in January

by Bill McBride on 3/07/2018 08:46:00 AM

From the Department of Commerce reported:

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $56.6 billion in January, up $2.7 billion from $53.9 billion in December, revised. ... January exports were $200.9 billion, $2.7 billion less than December exports. January imports were $257.5 billion, down less than $0.1 billion from December imports.
U.S. Trade Exports Imports Click on graph for larger image.

Both exports and imports decreased in January.

Exports are 21% above the pre-recession peak and up 5% compared to January 2017; imports are 11% above the pre-recession peak, and up 7% compared to January 2017.

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 $54.76 in January, up from $52.10 in December, and up from $43.94 in January 2016.

The petroleum deficit increased in January, and this is the main reason the overall trade deficit increased in January.

The trade deficit with China increased to $36.0 billion in January, from $31.3 billion in January 2016.