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Trade Deficit Up Sharply as Exports Fall, Imports Rise

Monday, January 16, 2012
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade statistics released Jan. 13 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. trade deficit in goods and services reversed course in November and increased by 10.4% to $47.8 billion. Exports fell by $1.5 billion for the second straight month, to $177.8 billion, but imports increased $2.9 billion to $225.6 billion after falling $2.2 billion the month before. Compared to a year earlier, the November trade deficit was up by $8.9 billion (compared to $4.0 billion in October) as exports increased by $16.6 billion (10.3%) and imports rose $25.5 billion (12.7%).

According to DOC, the goods trade deficit gained $4.6 billion in November to $63.2 billion while the services surplus edged up $0.1 billion to $15.4 billion. Exports of goods again declined by $1.5 billion to $126.6 billion while imports rose $3.1 billion to $189.7 billion. Services exports were virtually unchanged at $51.3 billion but imports slipped $0.2 billion to $35.9 billion.

Bilateral trade deficits declined with China (4.3% to $26.9 billion), Venezuela (17.4% to $1.9 billion), Taiwan (17.6% to $1.4 billion) and Korea (7.1% to $1.3 billion) but increased with the European Union (21.3% to $9.7 billion), Mexico (3.8% to $5.5 billion), Germany (9.3% to $4.7 billion), Canada (36.4% to $3.0 billion) and Nigeria (21.1% to $2.3 billion). Deficits with Japan ($6.2 billion) and Ireland ($2.8 billion) were unchanged. The U.S. ran trade surpluses with Hong Kong (up 6.7% to $3.2 billion), Australia (down 28.6% to $1.5 billion), Singapore (unchanged at $1.0 billion) and Egypt (down 50% to $0.1 billion).

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