Thursday, April 05, 2018

Trade Deficit at $57.6 Billion in February

by Bill McBride on 4/05/2018 08:49:00 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 $57.6 billion in February, up $0.9 billion from $56.7 billion in January, revised. ... February exports were $204.4 billion, $3.5 billion more than January exports. February imports were $262.0 billion, $4.4 billion more than January imports.
U.S. Trade Exports Imports Click on graph for larger image.

Both exports and imports increased in February.

Exports are 24% above the pre-recession peak and up 7% compared to February 2017; imports are 13% above the pre-recession peak, and up 11% compared to February 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 $54.61 in February, down slightly from $54.76 in January, and up from $45.25 in February 2017.

The petroleum deficit increased over the last two months, and this is the main reason the overall trade deficit increased in January and February.

The trade deficit with China increased to $29.3 billion in February, from $23.0 billion in February 2017.  The trade deficit with China was boosted by the timing of the Chinese New Year this year.