Thursday, May 03, 2018

Trade Deficit at $49.0 Billion in March

by Bill McBride on 5/03/2018 08:53:00 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 $49.0 billion in March, down $8.8 billion from $57.7 billion in February, revised. ... March exports were $208.5 billion, $4.2 billion more than February exports. March imports were $257.5 billion, $4.6 billion less than February imports.
U.S. Trade Exports Imports Click on graph for larger image.

Exports increased and imports decreased in March.

Exports are 26% above the pre-recession peak and up 9% compared to March 2017; imports are 11% above the pre-recession peak, and up 9% compared to March 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 $54.00 in March, down slightly from $54.61 in February, and up from $46.26 in March 2017.

The trade deficit with China increased to $25.8 billion in February, from $24.6 billion in March 2017.  Note: The timing of the Chinese New Year pushed up the trade deficit with China in February, and probably reduced the deficit slightly in March.