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Trade Deficit Tumbles but Consumer Goods Imports Hit Record

Thursday, January 08, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade statistics released Jan. 7 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. trade deficit in goods and services fell 7.6 percent in November to $39.0 billion as exports fell one percent to $196.4 billion but imports sank 2.2 percent to $235.4 billion. Highlights of the statistics include the following.

- year-to-date, the deficit was up 5.1 percent from the same period in 2013

- the goods deficit fell 5.4 percent to $58.3 billion while the services surplus edged downward to $19.3 billion

- the export decline was led by civilian aircraft, which fell $1.1 billion

- the majority of the import loss was suffered by industrial supplies and materials, mostly crude oil (which fell to its lowest level in more than 20 years) and fuel oil

- goods deficits were up with China (0.6 percent to $29.9 billion), Germany (1 percent to $6.3 million), Korea (19.6 percent to $2.89 billion) and the European Union (13.4 percent to $12.7 billion)

- goods deficits were down with Canada (48.5 percent to $1.38 billion), India (15.9 percent to $1.70 billion), Japan (4.8 percent to $5.58 billion) and Mexico (18.2 percent to $4.43 billion)

- the petroleum deficit ($11.4 billion) was the lowest since December 2003

- imports of consumer goods ($48.5 billion) were the highest on record

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