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Trade Deficit Back Up as Import Growth Doubles Export Gain

Thursday, June 06, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade statistics released June 4 by the Department of Commerce show that the monthly U.S. trade deficit was up 8.6% in April to $40.3 billion following an 11% drop in March. Monthly exports were up 1.2% to $187.4 billion, the second-highest total ever, while imports gained 2.4% to $227.7 billion a month after their largest decrease in four years. Press sources attribute the increases to rising consumer demand in the U.S. and abroad. Compared to a year earlier, the April trade deficit was down $6.3 billion as exports rose 1.7% and imports fell 1.4%.

The monthly deficit in goods trade increased 5.8% in April to $58.6 billion. Exports of goods were up 1.4% to $131.1 billion while imports gained 2.7% to $189.7 billion. The services surplus edged up to $18.3 billion as exports rose 0.7% to $56.3 billion and imports rose 0.8% to $38.0 billion.

The bilateral trade deficit with China jumped 34.6% to $24.1 billion a month after a 23.5% drop to its lowest level in three years. The U.S. also saw bigger deficits with the European Union (up 25.3% to $12.4 billion), Japan (up 4.5% to $6.9 billion), Germany (up 19.6% to $6.1 billion), Saudi Arabia (up 23.8% to $2.6 billion), Canada (up 4.3% to $2.4 billion), India (up 33.3% to $2.4 billion), Ireland (up 14.2% to $2.4 billion), Korea (up 69.2% to $2.4 billion) and Venezuela (up 15.3% to $1.5 billion). Mexico was the only major trading partner with which the U.S. saw its trade deficit decrease in April, down 17.0% to $4.4 billion.

The U.S. continued to run surpluses with several trade partners, including Hong Kong (down 25% to $2.4 billion), Australia (down 26.7% to $1.1 billion), Singapore (down 42.9% to $0.8 billion) and Brazil (down 29.4% to $1.2 billion).

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