US Trade Gap Highest Since 2012

The trade deficit in the US widened to USD 50.5 billion in November of 2017 from an upwardly revised USD 48.9 billion in October. It is the biggest trade gap since January of 2012 as imports reached a record high on rising demand for consumer goods, cell phones, crude oil and semiconductors. Exports recovered form October's fall and touched a record value on higher sales of capital goods, aircraft and cars.

The November increase in the goods and services deficit reflected a rise in the goods deficit of USD 1.7 billion to USD 70.9 billion and an increase in the services surplus of USD 0.1 billion to USD 20.4 billion. 

Total exports of goods and services went up 2.3 percent month-over-month to a record of USD 200.22 billion, recovering from a 0.1 percent drop in October. Exports of goods increased USD 4.4 billion to USD 134.6 billion, namely capital goods (USD 2.5 billion); civilian aircraft (USD 1.2 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and engines (USD 1.0 billion); passenger cars (USD 0.6 billion); consumer goods increased (USD 0.7 billion). Exports of services went up USD 0.1 billion to USD 65.7 billion, namely other business services, which includes research and development services; professional and management services; and technical, trade-related, and other services (USD 0.1 billion); financial services (0.1 billion). In contrast, sales of maintenance and repair services decreased USD 0.1 billion.

Total imports of goods and services rose 2.5 percent month-over-month to a record of USD 250.72 billion, following a 1.6 percent rise in October. Imports of goods surged USD 6.0 billion to USD 205.5 billion, namely consumer goods (USD 2.4 billion); cell phones and other household goods (USD 1.1 billion); industrial supplies and materials (USD 2.2 billion); crude oil (USD 1.1 billion); capital goods (USD 1.6 billion); semiconductors (USD 0.8 billion). Imports of services decreased less than USD 0.1 billion to USD 45.3 billion, mainly due to transport (USD -0.2 billion). In contrast, purchases of travel (for all purposes including education) increased USD 0.1 billion and charges for the use of intellectual property rose USD 0.1 billion.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, exports went up to Canada (5.3 percent), Japan (2.8 percent) and OPEC (7.1 percent) but fell to China (-1.9 percent), Mexico (-2 percent), the EU (-8.4 percent) and Brazil (-13.9 percent). Imports went up from Canada (1.4 percent), OPEC (2.8 percent) and Brazil (14.2 percent). In contrast, purchases fell from China (-0.1 percent), the EU (-2.9 percent), Mexico (-3.7 percent) and Japan (-4.3 percent). The US trade gap widened with China (USD -35.43 billion from USD -35.23 billion) and the EU (USD -14.73 billion from USD -13.72 billion). In contrast, it fell with Mexico (USD -5.98 billion from USD -6.61 billion), Japan (USD -5.76 billion from USD -6.43 billion), OPEC (USD -1.26 billion from USD -1.42 billion) and Canada (USD -0.98 billion from USD -1.9 billion). 

US Trade Gap Highest Since 2012

BEA | Joana Taborda |
1/5/2018 2:13:49 PM