Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Jun 07 2023

U.S. Trade Deficit Deepens in April

  • Deficit is largest in six months.
  • Exports fall sharply while imports rise.
  • Goods trade deficit widens; services surplus increases.

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services (BOP basis) increased to $74.6 billion in April from $60.6 billion in March, revised from $64.2 billion. Earlier figures also were revised. A $75.6 billion deficit had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Exports fell 3.6% (-1.5% y/y) after increasing 1.8% in March, revised from 2.1%. Imports rose 1.5% in April (-4.5% y/y) after a 1.6% March drop, revised from -0.3%.

The widening of the goods & services deficit in April reflected a deeper goods trade deficit of $96.1 billion compared to $81.6 billion deficit in March. Goods exports fell 5.3% (-4.9% y/y) after a 2.5% increase. Imports of goods rose 2.0% (-6.7% y/y following a 1.9% decline. The services trade surplus improved to $21.6, its highest level since March 2021, from $21.0 billion. Exports of services edged 0.2% higher (6.4% y/y), the same as in March. Imports of services fell 0.6% (+6.3% y/y) in April after easing 0.2% in March.

The real (inflation-adjusted) goods trade deficit deepened to $95.8 billion (chained 2012 dollars) from $82.3 billion in March. Real exports fell 5.6% (-0.8% y/y) following a 3.0% increase while real imports rose 2.4% (-2.1% y/y) after a 0.8% decline.

The Customs value goods trade deficit deepened to $97.1 billion in April after narrowing to $82.5 billion in March. Exports fell 5.3% (-5.6% y/y) following a 2.2% increase. Exports of food, feeds & beverages rose 0.3% (-16.5% y/y). Auto exports slipped 0.2% (+9.2% y/y) while nonauto consumer goods exports fell 7.6% (+1.7% y/y). Capital goods exports eased 0.7% (+4.2% y/y) while exports of industrial supplies and materials slumped 9.4% (-16.1% y/y). Customs value imports rose 2.1% (-6.6% y/y) in April following a 1.9% March drop. The rise was led by a 5.6% increase (10.1% y/y) in auto imports. Nonauto consumer goods rose 2.8% (-11.8% y/y) while industrial supplies imports rose 3.2% (-15.7% y/y). Imports of foods, feeds & beverages fell 2.6% (-8.6% y/y). Petroleum imports fell 3.0% (-24.7% y/y) in April while nonpetroleum imports rose 2.6% (-4.9% y/y).

The 0.2% increase (6.4% y/y) in services exports reflected a 3.3% increase (24.8% y/y) in travel exports and a 1.4% increase (1.0% y/y) in financial services. Services imports eased 0.6% (+6.3% y/y) as travel imports fell 1.7% (+32.7% y/y), and transport services fell 3.6% (-11.1% y/y).

The goods trade deficit with China deepened to a seasonally adjusted $24.2 billion in April from $22.6 billion in March. Exports fell 2.6% (+12.6% y/y) while imports rose 3.2% (-18.7% y/y). The goods trade deficit with the European Union widened to $17.3 billion in April from $15.6 billion in March. The trade shortfall with Japan deepened to $6.8 billion, its largest since January 2022.

The international trade data, including relevant data on 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 in AS1REPNA.

  • Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio.   Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984.   He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C.   In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists.   Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.

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