The US trade deficit widened to USD 59.8 billion in December of 2018 from an upwardly revised USD 50.3 billion in the previous month and compared with market expectations of a USD 57.9 billion gap. It is the largest deficit since October of 2008 as exports declined for the third month and imports recovered. In 2018, the country's trade gap widened to a 10-year high, with the goods gap with China jumping to a record high despite tariffs on USD 250 billion worth of Chinese imports. Balance of Trade in the United States averaged -14602.55 USD Million from 1950 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 1946 USD Million in June of 1975 and a record low of -67823 USD Million in August of 2006.

Balance of Trade in the United States is expected to be -52000.00 USD Million by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in the United States to stand at -60000.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Balance of Trade is projected to trend around -53000.00 USD Million in 2020, according to our econometric models.

United States Balance of Trade
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Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-11-02 12:30 PM Balance of Trade $-54B $-53.3B $-53.6B $ -53B
2018-12-06 01:30 PM Balance of Trade $-55.5B $-54.6B $-54.9B $ -55.4B
2019-02-06 01:30 PM Balance of Trade $-49.3B $-55.7B $-54B $-53B
2019-03-06 01:30 PM Balance of Trade $-59.8B $-50.3B $-57.9B $-56B
2019-03-27 12:30 PM Balance of Trade $-59.8B $-57.5B $-59B
2019-04-17 12:30 PM Balance of Trade
2019-05-09 12:30 PM Balance of Trade $-52B



US Trade Deficit Largest since 2008

The U.S. trade deficit widened to USD 59.8 billion in December of 2018 from an upwardly revised USD 50.3 billion in the previous month and compared with market expectations of a USD 57.9 billion gap. It is the largest deficit since October of 2008 as exports declined for the third month and imports recovered. In 2018, the country's trade gap widened to a 10-year high, with the goods gap with China jumping to a record high despite tariffs on USD 250 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Total exports fell 1.9 percent month-over-month to USD 205.1 billion, following a 0.7 percent drop in November. Exports of goods decreased USD 3.9 billion to USD 135.6 billion, mainly dragged down by industrial supplies and materials (USD -2.1 billion); other petroleum products (USD -0.9 billion); crude oil (USD-0.5 billion); fuel oil (USD -0.4 billion); capital goods (USD -1.7 billion); and civilian aircraft (USD -1 billion). Exports of services dropped less than USD 0.1 billion to USD 69.5 billion, mainly due to transport (USD -0.2 billion) while sales of financial services increased USD 0.1 billion.

According to unadjusted data, exports fell to Canada (-10 percent), Mexico (-15.4 percent), the EU (-3.5 percent), Japan (-2.1 percent); and OPEC (-5.1 percent) but rose to China (6 percent) and Brazil (8.4 percent).

Total imports rose 2.1 percent to USD 264.9 billion, following a 2.8 percent plunge in November. Imports of goods increased USD 5.1 billion to USD 217.2 billion, driven by capital goods (USD 2.7 billion); computer accessories (USD 0.7 billion); computers (USD 0.7 billion); consumer goods (USD 2.4 billion); household and kitchen appliances (USD 0.7 billion); cell phones and other household goods (USD 0.6 billion). Imports of services went up USD 0.5 billion to USD 47.7 billion, mainly due to transport (USD 0.4 billion).

According to unadjusted data, imports rose to Brazil (4.4 percent) but fell from the remaining partners: China (-1.1 percent), Canada (-7 percent), Mexico (-8.4 percent), the EU (-2.4 percent), Japan (-2.3 percent), and OPEC (-11.6 percent). 

The goods deficit with China declined to USD 36.8 billion from USD 37.9 billion in November. The trade gap also narrowed with the EU (USD -15 billion from USD -15.1 billion), Japan (USD -5.7 billion from USD -5.8 billion) and OPEC (USD -0.3 billion from USD -0.8 billion) but widened with Mexico (USD -7.7 billion from USD -6.7 billion) and Canada (USD -1.4 billion from USD -0.7 billion). 

Considering full 2018, the goods and services deficit increased 12.5 percent from 2017 to USD 621 billion. It is the highest trade deficit in 10 years as exports went up 6.3 percent to USD 2499 billion and imports jumped at a faster 7.5 percent to USD 3121 billion. The goods deficit widened with all main trading partners except Japan: China (to a record high of USD -419.2 billion from USD -375.6 billion in 2017), the EU (USD -169.3 billion from USD -151.4 billion), Mexico (USD -81.5 billion from USD -70.9 billion), Canada (USD -19.8 billion from USD -17.1 billion) and OPEC (USD -21.3 billion from USD -12.9 billion). In contrast, the goods gap with Japan narrowed to USD 67.6 billion from USD 68.9 billion. 


BEA | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
3/6/2019 2:39:03 PM



United States Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -59769.00 -50297.00 1946.00 -67823.00 USD Million [+]
Current Account -124817.00 -101224.00 9957.00 -215769.00 USD Million [+]
Current Account to GDP -2.40 -2.40 0.20 -6.00 percent [+]
Imports 264885.00 259359.00 266738.00 577.00 USD Million [+]
Exports 205116.00 209062.00 212846.00 772.00 USD Million [+]
External Debt 19556588.00 19306582.00 19556588.00 6570168.00 USD Million [+]
Terms of Trade 106.43 106.60 168.28 91.82 Index Points [+]
Capital Flows -143651.00 -113493.00 272938.00 -194622.00 USD Million [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 51938.00 47253.00 51938.00 -9988.00 USD Million [+]
Net Long Term Tic Flows -7237.00 -48313.00 157830.00 -72882.00 USD Million [+]
Gold Reserves 8133.50 8133.46 8149.05 8133.46 Tonnes [+]
Crude Oil Production 11849.00 11900.00 11900.00 3971.00 BBL/D/1K [+]
Terrorism Index 6.07 5.43 7.39 3.70 [+]
Tourism Revenues 21307.00 21357.00 21417.00 6496.00 USD Million [+]
Tourist Arrivals 6734056.00 6907642.00 8364941.00 2094287.00 [+]
Weapons Sales 12394.00 10304.00 16071.00 1769.00 USD Million [+]

Exports by Country  |   Exports by Category  |   Imports by Country  |   Imports by Category



United States Balance of Trade

The United States has been running consistent trade deficits since 1976 due to high imports of oil and consumer products. In 2018, the biggest trade deficits were recorded with China, Mexico, Germany, Japan, Ireland, Vietnam and Italy and the biggest trade surpluses with Hong Kong, Netherlands, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, Brazil and Panama. China is the top trading partner, accounting for 16 percent of total trade, followed by Canada (15 percent) and Mexico (15 percent). This page provides the latest reported value for - United States Balance of Trade - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. United States Balance of Trade - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on March of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-59769.00 -50297.00 1946.00 -67823.00 1950 - 2018 USD Million Monthly
SA




Country Last Previous
Argentina 372.00 Jan/19
Australia 4549.00 Jan/19
Brazil 3670.00 Feb/19
Canada -4593.40 Dec/18
China 41.18 Feb/19
Euro Area 1547.90 Jan/19
France -4195.00 Jan/19
Germany 14500.00 Jan/19
India -9600.00 Feb/19
Indonesia 329.50 Feb/19
Italy 321.80 Jan/19
Japan 339.00 Feb/19
Mexico -4809.60 Jan/19
Netherlands 2868.00 Jan/19
Russia 13368.00 Jan/19
Saudi Arabia 184673.00 Sep/18
Singapore 5198.50 Feb/19
South Africa -13082.76 Jan/19
South Korea 3098.00 Feb/19
Spain -4483276.00 Jan/19
Switzerland 2037.56 Feb/19
Turkey -2503.45 Jan/19
United Kingdom -3825.00 Jan/19
United States -59769.00 Dec/18


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