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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Trade Deficit increased in February to $42.3 Billion

by Calculated Risk on 4/03/2014 08:54:00 AM

The Department of Commerce reported this morning:

[T]otal February exports of $190.4 billion and imports of $232.7 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $42.3 billion, up from $39.3 billion in January, revised. February exports were $2.0 billion less than January exports of $192.5 billion. February imports were $1.0 billion more than January imports of $231.7 billion.
The trade deficit was above the consensus forecast of $39.1 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 increased and exports decreased in February.  

Exports are 15% above the pre-recession peak and up 2% compared to February 2013; imports are at the pre-recession peak, and up about 1% compared to February 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 $91.53 in February, up from $90.21 in January, and down from $95.96 in February 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 declined to $20.86 billion in February, from $23.41 billion in February 2013.  About half of the trade deficit is related to China.

Overall it appears trade is picking up slightly.