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Trade Deficit Up as Exports Fall, Imports Climb

Monday, April 07, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade statistics released April 3 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. trade deficit climbed 7.6% in February to $42.3 billion. Exports fell 1.0% to $190.4 billion while imports rose 0.4% to $232.7 billion. Compared to a year earlier, the February trade deficit was down $1.0 billion as exports gained 1.9% and imports grew by 1.1%.

The monthly deficit in goods trade increased 3.7% in February to $61.7 billion. Exports of goods slipped 1.5% to $131.7 billion while imports inched up 0.1% to $193.4 billion. The services surplus declined 4.0% to $19.4 billion as exports were virtually unchanged at $58.7 billion but imports rose 2.1% to $39.3 billion.

With respect to individual trading partners, the U.S. saw smaller deficits with China (down 24.8% to $20.9 billion), OPEC (down 18.6% to $5.7 billion), Germany (down 13.5% to $4.5 billion), Saudi Arabia (down 17.9% to $3.2 billion), Canada (down 52.5% to $1.9 billion), Venezuela (down 21.7% to $1.8 billion), India (down 19.0% to $1.7 billion) and South Korea (down 47.4% to $1.0 billion). Deficits increased with the European Union (up 3.4% to $9.1 billion), Mexico (up 42.9% to $4.0 billion) and Ireland (up 11.8% to $1.9 billion), and the deficit with Japan was unchanged at $5.3 billion.

The U.S. continued to run trade surpluses with Hong Kong (down 25.6% to $2.9 billion), Australia (unchanged at $1.4 billion), Singapore (down 18.8% to $1.3 billion) and Brazil (unchanged at $1.2 billion).

The Export-Import Bank reports that exports of goods and services over the last 12 months totaled $2.3 trillion, 44.5% above 2009, and have been growing at an annualized rate of 9.2% when compared to that year. During the same time period among the major export markets (i.e., markets with at least $6 billion in annual imports of U.S. goods), the countries with the largest annualized increases in U.S. goods purchases were Panama (23.6%), Russia (19.6%), Peru (19.4%), Hong Kong (18.9%), Colombia (17.9%), United Arab Emirates (17.1%), Argentina (16.4$), Chile (16.3%), Ecuador (15.2%) and Indonesia (15.0%).

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