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Economy in Brief

U.S. Goods Trade Deficit Nears Record in June
by Tom Moeller  July 28, 2021

• Exports edge higher while gain in imports accelerates.

• Oil prices lead imports higher.

The advance estimate of the U.S. trade deficit in goods widened to $91.2 billion in June from $88.2 billion in May. An $88.4 billion deficit was expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Exports improved 0.3% (40.6% y/y) last month, the same as in May. Imports strengthened 1.5% (35.5% y/y) after rising 1.1% in May.

By end-use category, exports of industrial supplies & materials strengthened 2.2% (62.2% y/y) with higher oil prices. Automotive exports increased 1.7% (39.8% y/y) following sharp declines in each of the prior two months. Nonauto consumer goods exports rose 0.7% in June (46.5% y/y) after strengthening 5.8% in May. Capital goods exports eased 0.1% (+23.7% y/y) after falling 1.0% in May. Falling by 8.7% (+22.9% y/y) were exports of foods, feeds & beverages after the rose 2.2% in May.

The increase in imports was led by industrial supplies & materials which surged 8.5% (58.7% y/y) after sharp gains in seven of the eight prior months. Foods, feeds, beverages imports rose 4.0% (29.0% y/y) after a 5.8% May rise. Imports of capital goods excluding autos slumped 1.1% (26.5% y/y) following a 1.8% decline. Nonauto consumer goods imports declined 2.7% (+22.7% y/y) after a 0.4% improvement. Auto imports fell 2.5% (+52.9% y/y), down for the fifth month this year.

The advance international trade data can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectation figure is from the Action Economics Forecast Survey, which is in AS1REPNA.

Advance U.S. Foreign Trade in Goods (Customs Value $) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y 2020 2019 2018
U.S. Trade Balance ($ bil.) -91.21 -88.16 -85.91 -71.17 (6/20) -911.06 -850.92 -870.36
Exports (% Chg) 0.3 0.3 1.0 40.6 -13.3 -1.4 7.7
Imports (% Chg) 1.5 1.1 -1.9 35.5 -6.3 -1.7 8.4

Note: Current month is based on Advance Trade data; Previous months reflect revised data from International Trade release.

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