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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Trade Deficit increased in April to $47.2 Billion

by Calculated Risk on 6/04/2014 08:30:00 AM

The Department of Commerce reported this morning:

[T]otal April exports of $193.3 billion and imports of $240.6 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $47.2 billion, up from $44.2 billion in March, revised. April exports were $0.3 billion less than March exports of $193.7 billion. April imports were $2.7 billion more than March imports of $237.8 billion.
The trade deficit was much larger than the consensus forecast of $41.0 billion.

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

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

Both imports and exports increased in April.  

Exports are 17% above the pre-recession peak and up 3% compared to April 2013; imports are about 4% above the pre-recession peak, and up about 5% compared to April 2013. 

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

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 $95.48 in April, up from $93.91 in March, and down from $97.74 in April 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 increased to $27.3 billion in April, from $24.2 billion in April 2013.  More than half of the trade deficit is related to China.

Overall it appears trade is picking up slightly.