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Trade Deficit Virtually Unchanged in January as Imports, Exports Both Rise

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade statistics released March 7 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. trade deficit edged up 0.3% in January to $39.1 billion. Exports and imports both rose 0.6%, to $192.5 billion and $231.6 billion, respectively. Compared to a year earlier, the January trade deficit was down $3.0 billion as exports climbed 3.0% and imports moved ahead 1.2%.

The monthly deficit in goods trade increased 1.2% in January to $59.3 billion. Exports of goods rose 0.8% to $133.8 billion while imports saw a 0.9% increase to $193.1 billion. The services surplus gained 2.5% to $20.2 billion as exports rose 0.3% and imports fell 1.0%.

With respect to individual trading partners, the U.S. saw larger deficits in January with China (up 13.5% to $27.8 billion), Canada (up 20.6% to $4.1 billion), Saudi Arabia (up 39.3% to $3.9 billion), Venezuela (up 43.8% to $2.3 billion), India (up 40% to $2.1 billion), and Korea (up 137.5% to $1.9 billion). The U.S. ran smaller deficits with the European Union (down 22.1% to $8.8 billion), Japan (down 11.7% to $5.3 billion), Germany (down 11.9% to $5.2 billion), Mexico (down 33.3% to $2.8 billion) and Ireland (down 5.6% to $1.7 billion).

The U.S. continued to run trade surpluses with Hong Kong (up 18.2% to $3.9 billion), Singapore (up 33.3% to $1.6 billion), Australia (down 12.5% to $1.4 billion) and Brazil (down 20% to $1.2 billion).

The Export-Import Bank reports that exports of goods and services over the last 12 months totaled $2.3 trillion, 44.3% above 2009, and have been growing at an annualized rate of 9.4% 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 (24.5%), Russia (20.2%), Hong Kong (19.6%), Peru (19.3%), Colombia (18.4%), United Arab Emirates (18.1%), Ecuador (17.2%), Chile (17.0%), Argentina (16.3%), and Indonesia (15.2%).

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