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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Trade Deficit increased in January to $44.4 Billion

by Calculated Risk on 3/07/2013 08:58:00 AM

The Department of Commerce reported:

[T]otal January exports of $184.5 billion and imports of $228.9 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $44.4 billion, up from $38.1 billion in December, revised. January exports were $2.2 billion less than December exports of $186.6 billion. January imports were $4.1 billion more than December imports of $224.8 billion.
The trade deficit was above the consensus forecast of $43.0 billion.

The first graph shows the monthly U.S. exports and imports in dollars through January 2013.

U.S. Trade Exports Imports Click on graph for larger image.

Exports decreased in January, and imports increased (most of the increase was petroleum).

Exports are 11% above the pre-recession peak and up 3.3% compared to January 2012; imports are near the pre-recession peak, and down 1% compared to January 2012.

The second graph shows the U.S. trade deficit, with and without petroleum, through January.

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.

The increase in the trade deficit in January was mostly due to an increase in the volume of petroleum imports.

Oil averaged $94.08 per barrel in January, down slightly from $95.16 in December. 

The trade deficit with China increased to $27.8 billion in January, up from $26.0 billion in January 2012. Most of the trade deficit is still due to oil and China.

The trade deficit with the euro area was $7.7 billion in January, up slightly from $7.6 billion in January 2012.