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Economy in Brief

U.S. Trade Deficit Still Near The Record in July
by Tom Moeller September 10, 2004

The U.S. foreign trade deficit fell in July but remained at the second highest level on record at $50.1B. Consensus expectations had been for a deficit of $51.5B.

Exports rebounded 3.0% following the 3.9% slump in June that was revised somewhat shallower. Capital goods exports recovered 5.8% (13.7% y/y) of an 8.2% June drop. Nonauto consumer goods exports fell by 2.1% (+9.5% y/y) for the fourth consecutive monthly decline.

Total imports fell 1.4% as petroleum imports dropped 9.4% (+24.5% y/y). Less the rise in prices, petroleum imports are down 2.2% y/y. Imports of non-petroleum goods fell 0.4% (15.5% y/y).

By country, the US trade deficit with China deepened to another record at $14.9.0B ($124.1B in 2003) as imports rose 3.7% (30.7% y/y). The US trade deficit with Japan also deepened to $6.4B ($66.0B in 2003).

"Rule of Law and Economic Growth" from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is available here.

Foreign Trade July June Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Trade Deficit $50.1B $55.0B $40.8B(7/03) $496.5B $421.7B $362.7B
  Exports - Goods & Services 3.0% -3.9% 12.0% 4.6% -3.1% -6.0%
  Imports - Goods & Services -1.4% 2.9% 15.5% 8.5% 2.1% -5.5%
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