Friday, March 07, 2014

Trade Deficit increased in January to $39.1 Billion

by Calculated Risk on 3/07/2014 12:20:00 PM

The Department of Commerce reported this morning:

[T]otal January exports of $192.5 billion and imports of $231.6 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $39.1 billion, up from $39.0 billion in December, revised. January exports were $1.2 billion more than December exports of $191.3 billion. January imports were $1.3 billion more than December imports of $230.3 billion.
The trade deficit was close to the consensus forecast of $39.0 billion.

The first graph shows the monthly U.S. exports and imports in dollars through January 2014.

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

Imports and exports increased in January.  

Exports are 15% above the pre-recession peak and up 3% compared to January 2013; imports are at the pre-recession peak, and up about 1% compared to January 2013. 

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.

Oil averaged $90.21 in January, down from $91.34 in December, and down from $94.08 in January 2013.  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 was mostly unchanged at $27.84 billion in January, from $27.79 billion in January 2013.  A majority of the trade deficit is related to China.

Overall it appears trade is picking up a little.