Recent Updates

  • Singapore: IP (May)
  • Malaysia: CPI by State (May)
  • Malaysia: CPI (May)
  • Korea: Trade Indexes (May)
  • New Zealand: Foreign Currency Assets and Liabilities and
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows As Oil Prices Fall
by Tom Moeller  February 6, 2019

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services lessened to $49.31 during November from $55.70 billion in October, revised from $55.49 billion. A deficit of $54.0 billion had been expected by the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Exports declined 0.6% (+3.7% y/y) after an unrevised 0.1% easing in October, while imports fell 2.9% (+3.2% y/y) after a 0.4% gain in October, revised from 0.2%.

The real (inflation-adjusted) goods trade balance narrowed to $80.8 billion in November from a record $88.3 billion in October.

The deficit in goods trade declined to $70.5 billion in November from a record $77.1 billion in October. Exports of goods declined 0.9% (+4.6% y/y), but rose slightly in real terms. Foods, feeds and beverage exports rebounded 0.6% (-2.2% y/y) following four months of sharp decline. Auto exports fell 3.0% (-8.8% y/y) after a 1.9% drop, while non-auto capital goods exports weakened 5.0% (+1.4% y/y). Industrial supplies exports fell 2.9% (+11.4% y/y). Exports of petroleum declined 3.8% (+31.7% y/y) as prices fell. Constant dollar petroleum exports increased 6.4% m/m and by nearly one-quarter y/y.

Imports of goods decreased 3.6% (+3.4% y/y) in November after rising for six straight months. In constant dollars, imports fell 3.0% (+1.9% y/y) after little change in October. Nonauto consumer goods imports declined 7.5% (+2.2% y/y). Foods, feeds and beverages imports fell 1.2% (+3.8% y/y) while imports of capital goods improved 0.6% (1.8% y/y). Imports of automobiles gained 0.8% (6.4% y/y) and have risen steadily since May. Industrial supplies imports declined 6.9% (+2.4% y/y) but fell 5.2% in real terms (-4.1% y/y).

Petroleum imports declined 14.6% (-1.8% y/y) and by 10.7% in real terms (-14.1% y/y). Nonpetroleum imports were off 2.5% (+3.8% y/y) and 2.2% in real terms (+3.5% y/y). The price per barrel of crude oil declined to $57.54 from $61.23. It was down from an average $101.02 in 2012.

The surplus on services trade declined to $22.3 billion in November, the smallest surplus in nine months. Services exports eased 0.2% m/m (+2.2% y/y) as travel exports fell 0.2% (+0.7% y/y) and charges for the use of intellectual property eased 0.1% (+0.9% y/y). Imports of services rose 0.3% (1.9% y/y) as travel imports increased 2.3% (9.1% y/y). Imports of charges for the use of intellectual property rose 0.3% (-4.6% y/y).

The trade deficit with China declined to $37.9 billion (NSA) in November. Exports to China fell 5.1% (-32.1% y/y), the fourth sharp decline in five months. Imports declined 10.9% (-3.3% y/y) after a 4.4% rise. The trade deficit with Japan narrowed to $5.8 billion. Exports rose 18.5% y/y and imports gained 9.9% y/y. The trade deficit with the European Union narrowed to $15.1 billion. Exports increased 14.3% y/y and imports rose 9.9% y/y.

The international trade data as well as oil prices can be found in Haver's USECON database. Detailed figures on international trade are available in the USINT database. The expectations figures are from the Action Economics Forecast Survey, which is carried in AS1REPNA.

Foreign Trade in Goods & Services (Current $) Nov Oct Sep Y/Y 2017 2016 2015
U.S. Trade Deficit ($ bil.) 49.31 55.70 54.56 48.95
(11/17)
552.28 502.00 498.53
Exports of Goods & Services (% Chg) -0.6 -0.1 1.5 3.7 6.1 -2.2 -4.6
Imports of Goods & Services (% Chg) -2.9 0.4 1.5 3.2 6.8 -1.7 -3.5
  Petroleum (% Chg) -14.6 -2.7 -1.6 -1.8 27.2 -19.5 -45.5
  Nonpetroleum Goods (% Chg) -2.5 0.5 2.1 3.8 5.6 -1.2 2.2
close
large image