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Exports Rise, Imports Tumble to Push Trade Deficit Back Down

Thursday, June 04, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods and services plummeted 19.2 percent in April to $40.9 billion, according to trade statistics released June 3 by the Department of Commerce. The decline comes a month after a 45.2 percent jump in the deficit to its highest level in more than six years that was attributed to the clearing of a backlog at West Coast ports.

Total Imports and Exports. Imports totaled $230.8 billion in April, down 3.5 percent, and exports gained 1.1 percent to $189.9 billion, their highest total of 2015. The year-to-date deficit was up 0.9 percent from a year earlier as exports fell 2.3 percent and imports dropped 1.8 percent. The DOC notes that the year-to-date deficit in petroleum has fallen by 56 percent while the comparable non-petroleum goods and services deficit is up 44.9 percent.

Goods. The goods deficit fell 13.3 percent to $60.7 billion in April. Imports of goods dropped 3.8 percent to $189.6 billion, with major decreases in cell phones and other household goods (down $1.3 billion), other textile, apparel and household goods (down $0.9 billion) and footwear (down $0.8 billion), even as imports of crude oil rose $500 million. Exports of goods totaled $129.0 billion, up 1.5 percent, including increases of $1.0 billion in civilian aircraft, $600 million in telecom equipment and $300 million in other industrial machines.

Services. The services surplus rose 2.1 percent to $19.8 billion. Imports slipped 1.0 percent to $41.1 billion and exports edged up to $60.9 billion.

Country/Region

Deficit $billion

% Change

Surplus $billion

% Change

China

27.5

-27.2

European Union

11.9

+8.2

Japan

6.7

+6.3

Germany

5.9

+5.4

Mexico

4.2

-12.5

Italy

2.2

+4.8

South Korea

2.1

-19.2

India

1.5

-25.0

France

1.1

-26.7

United Kingdom

1.0

+400

Canada

0.3

-78.6

Saudi Arabia

0.1

0

South/Central America

3.0

+3.4

Brazil

0.8

+100

 

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