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Trade Deficit at Five-Month Low as Exports Increase, Imports Tumble

Friday, September 04, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods and services fell 7.3 percent in July to $41.9 billion, the lowest total in five months, according to trade statistics released Sept. 3 by the Department of Commerce. Press reports note that so far this year the deficit is 3.6 percent higher than in 2014 due in large part to a drop in exports attributable to factors such as a stronger U.S. dollar and economic struggles in overseas markets.

Total Imports and Exports. Imports fell 1.1 percent in July to $230.4 billion, despite record imports of automobiles, while exports rose for the first time in three months, up 0.4 percent to $188.5 billion.

Goods. The goods deficit declined by 5.2 percent in July to $61.4 billion. Imports of goods were down 1.4 percent to $189.6 billion as pharmaceutical preparations fell $1.5 billion and cell phones and other household goods lost $1.3 billion. Exports of goods were up 0.5 percent to $128.2 billion, including gains of $600 million in automotive vehicles, parts and engines and $300 million in industrial supplies and materials along with a $400 million decline in consumer goods.

Services. The services surplus was down less than $100 million and totaled $19.6 billion. Imports and exports both saw increases of $200 million and totaled $40.8 billion and $60.3 billion, respectively.

Country/Region

Deficit $ billion

% Change

Surplus $ billion

% Change

China

28.8

-0.7

European Union

12.4

-10.8

Germany

6.0

-11.8

Japan

5.4

+3.8

Mexico

3.8

-29.6

Italy

2.3

+4.5

South Korea

2.2

-4.3

Canada

2.1

-32.3

India

2.0

+25

France

1.1

-35.3

Saudi Arabia

0.5

Unchanged

South/Central America

2.6

-25.7

United Kingdom

0.3

Change from $0.2 bn deficit

Brazil

0.2

-66.7

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