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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Trade Deficit decreased in October to $40.6 Billion

by Calculated Risk on 12/04/2013 08:30:00 AM

The Department of Commerce reported this morning:

[T]otal October exports of $192.7 billion and imports of $233.3 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $40.6 billion, down from $43.0 billion in September, revised. October exports were $3.4 billion more than September exports of $189.3 billion. October imports were $1.0 billion more than September imports of $232.3 billion.
The trade deficit was close to the consensus forecast of $40.2 billion.

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

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

Both imports and exports increased in October.  

Exports are 16% above the pre-recession peak and up 5% compared to October 2012; imports are just above the pre-recession peak, and up about 4% compared to October 2012. 

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

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 averaged $99.96 in October, down from $102.00 in September, and up slightly from $99.76 in October 2012.  Prices will probably decline further in November.  The petroleum deficit has generally been declining and is the major reason the overall deficit has declined since early 2012.

The trade deficit with China decreased to $28.9 billion in October, down from $29.4 billion in October 2012.  A majority of the trade deficit is related to China.

Overall it appears trade is picking up a little again.