US Trade Gap Largest Since March 2012

The goods and services deficit in the United States widened to USD 48.5 billion in January of 2017 from a USD 44.3 billion gap a month earlier and in line with market expectations of a USD 48.5 billion shortfall. It is the highest deficit since March of 2012 as imports jumped 2.3 percent due to consumer goods and oil and exports rose at a slower 0.6 percent.

The higher deficit reflected an increase in the goods gap of USD 4.0 billion to USD 69.7 billion and a decrease in the services surplus of USD 0.3 billion to USD 21.2 billion.

Total exports rose to USD 192.1 billion, the highest since December of 2014 and following a 2.7 percent jump in December. Industrial supplies and materials increased USD 2.1 billion; other petroleum products went up USD 0.7 billion; crude oil rose USD 0.5 billion; automotive vehicles, parts, and engines increased USD 1.3 billion and passenger cars expanded USD 0.9 billion. In contrast, capital goods decreased USD 1.9 billion and civilian aircraft declined USD 0.6 billion. Exports of services decreased less than USD 0.1 billion to USD 64.1 billion in January.

Sales went up to Mexico (2.2 percent) and Brazil (5.8 percent), but fell for China (-13.4 percent), Canada (-2.4 percent), Japan (-11.2 percent) and OPEC (-43.2 percent). 

Total imports jumped to USD 240.6 billion, also the highest since December of 2014 and following a 1.6 percent rise in the previous month. Consumer goods increased USD 2.4 billion; cell phones and other household goods went up USD 1 billion; industrial supplies and materials rose USD 1 billion; crude oil increased USD 1.7 billion; automotive vehicles, parts, and engines expanded USD 0.9 billion and passenger cars increased USD 0.7 billion. Imports of services rose USD 0.2 billion to USD 42.9 billion: transport, which includes freight and port services and passenger fares, went up USD 0.2 billion.

Purchases rose from China (5.1 percent) and Canada (4.2 percent) but fell from Mexico (-0.1 percent), Japan (-13.9 percent), Brazil (-9.5 percent), the EU (-6.7 percent) and OPEC (-2.2 percent).

The US trade deficit widened with China ( USD -31.3 billion from USD -27.8 billion in December) and Canada (USD -3.6 billion from USD -2.2 billion). In contrast, it narrowed with Mexico (USD -3.9 billion from USD -4.4 billion), Japan (USD -5.5 billion from USD -6.5 billion) and the EU (USD -1.5 billion from USD -12.3 billion).

US Trade Gap Largest Since March 2012

BEA | Joana Taborda |
3/7/2017 2:29:00 PM