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Trade Deficit Down as Import Decline Outpaces Export Drop

Friday, February 08, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services fell for the first time in six months in November 2018, down 11.5 percent to $49.3 billion. Exports slipped 0.6 percent to $209.9 billion while imports tumbled 2.9 percent to $259.2 billion. For the year to date, however, the total trade deficit is up 10.4 percent from 2017 as exports have risen 7.3 percent and imports have increased 7.9 percent.  

The deficit in goods trade fell 8.6 percent to $71.6 billion in November. Imports of goods dropped 3.6 percent to $211.9 billion, including decreases of $2.3 billion in cell phones and other household goods, $1.4 billion in other petroleum products, $800 million in fuel oil, and $700 million in crude oil. Exports of goods were down 0.8 percent to $140.3 billion, including decreases of $1 billion in civilian aircraft, $600 million in other petroleum products, and $500 million each in non-monetary gold and gem diamonds.

The services surplus continued its recent decline, down another 1.3 percent to $22.3 billion. Imports rose 0.4 percent to $47.3 billion and exports slipped 0.1 percent to $69.5 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$35.4 billion

-7.3

   

European Union

$13.8 billion

-8.6

   

Mexico

$6.8 billion

+6.3

   

Japan

$5.7 billion

+3.6

Germany

$5.6 billion

-3.4

   

Italy

$2.7 billion

0

   

South Korea

$1.9 billion

+5.6

   

India

$1.7 billion

-15

Taiwan

$1.6 billion

+33.3

   

Saudi Arabia

$1.5 billion

-16.7

   

France

$1.3 billion

+18.2

   

Canada

$0.8 billion

-60

   

South/Central America

   

$4.8 billion

+29.7

Hong Kong

   

$2.6 billion

+8.3

United Kingdom

$0.9 billion

Change from deficit of <$0.1 billion

Brazil

   

$0.7 billion

0

Singapore

   

$0.8 billion

+33.3

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