Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Dec 27 2022

U.S. Goods Trade Deficit Narrows in November; Lowest Since Dec. '20

  • $83.35 billion deficit in November, smaller than expected.

  • Exports decline 3.1%, down for the third straight month.

  • Imports fall 7.6% following two consecutive m/m rises.


The advance estimate of the U.S. international trade deficit in goods narrowed to $83.35 billion in November from $98.80 billion in October, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This was the first time since August in which the goods deficit had narrowed. The November deficit was smaller than a $97.17 billion shortfall last November and the smallest since December 2020. A $96.5 billion deficit had been expected by the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The deficit had reached a peak of $125.66 billion in March. The goods trade deficit shrank to $268.55 billion in Q3'22, the smallest shortfall since Q2'21, from $309.37 billion in Q2'22. The narrower deficit showed net exports added 2.9%-points to Q3 GDP growth after having added 1.2%-points in Q2.

Total exports fell 3.1% m/m (+8.5% y/y) in November, the third consecutive m/m fall, after a 2.0% decline in October. However, exports have risen 8.2% since January. Total imports slid 7.6% (-0.2% y/y) in November, the first m/m slide since August and the deepest since April 2020, after a 1.0% increase in October. Imports have fallen 4.2% since January.

The decline in exports in November reflected exports m/m drops of 5.8% (+14.2% y/y) in industrial supplies & materials, 5.7% (+16.6% y/y) in other goods, 4.6% (-10.0% y/y) in foods, feeds & beverages, and 2.2% (+9.3% y/y) in capital goods excluding autos. To the upside, exports of consumer goods excluding autos (4.0% m/m; -1.8% y/y) and automotive vehicles & parts (1.0% m/m; 14.6% y/y) registered their monthly gains.

The slide in imports in November reflected imports m/m declines in all the end-use imports categories. These included drops of 13.0% (-10.0% y/y) in consumer goods excluding autos, 8.9% (+13.8% y/y) in automotive vehicles & parts, 6.0% (-2.8% y/y) in industrial supplies & materials, 5.5% (+1.9% y/y) in foods, feeds & beverages, 5.1% (-15.5% y/y) in other goods, and 4.3% (+8.3% y/y) in capital goods excluding autos.

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.

  • Winnie Tapasanun has been working for Haver Analytics since 2013. She has ~20 years of working in the financial services industry. As Vice President and Economic Analyst at Globicus International, Inc., a New York-based company specializing in macroeconomics and financial markets, Winnie oversaw the company’s business operations, managed financial and economic data, and wrote daily reports on macroeconomics and financial markets. Prior to working at Globicus, she was Investment Promotion Officer at the New York Office of the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) where she wrote monthly reports on the U.S. economic outlook, wrote reports on the outlook of key U.S. industries, and assisted investors on doing business and investment in Thailand. Prior to joining the BOI, she was Adjunct Professor teaching International Political Economy/International Relations at the City College of New York. Prior to her teaching experience at the CCNY, Winnie successfully completed internships at the United Nations.   Winnie holds an MA Degree from Long Island University, New York. She also did graduate studies at Columbia University in the City of New York and doctoral requirements at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her areas of specialization are international political economy, macroeconomics, financial markets, political economy, international relations, and business development/business strategy. Her regional specialization includes, but not limited to, Southeast Asia and East Asia.   Winnie is bilingual in English and Thai with competency in French. She loves to travel (~30 countries) to better understand each country’s unique economy, fascinating culture and people as well as the global economy as a whole.

    More in Author Profile »

More Economy in Brief