Trade Deficit Falls as Exports Hit Another Record, Imports Rise Also
Trade statistics released Sept. 4 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. trade deficit fell for the third straight month in July, slipping 0.7 percent to $40.5 billion. Exports rose 0.9 percent to $198.0 billion, the latest in a string of all-time records, and imports gained 0.7 percent to $237.0 billion. Compared to a year earlier, the July trade deficit was down $1.1 billion as exports increased 4.3 percent and imports grew by 4.0 percent.
The monthly deficit in goods trade was down 0.3 percent to $60.2 billion. Exports of goods rose 1.3 percent to a record $138.6 billion while imports gained 0.8 percent to $198.8 billion. The services surplus was virtually unchanged at $19.6 billion as exports rose 0.2 percent to $59.4 billion, the third straight monthly record, and imports were virtually unchanged at $39.8 billion. The petroleum deficit ($14.5 billion) was the lowest in more than five years, exports of automotive vehicles, parts and engines ($15.3 billion) were the highest on record, and imports of foods, feeds and beverages ($10.9 billion) hit an all-time high as well.
With respect to individual trading partners, the U.S. saw larger trade deficits with China (up 2.7 percent to a record $30.9 billion), the European Union (up 17.9 percent to $13.2 billion), Germany (up 23.1 percent to $6.4 billion), Japan (up 14.8 percent to $6.2 billion), Canada (up 14.8 percent to $3.1 billion), Saudi Arabia (up 47.4 percent to $2.8 billion), South Korea (up 31.6 percent to $2.5 billion), Venezuela (up 37.5 percent to $2.2 billion) and India (up 61.5 percent to $2.1 billion). Smaller deficits were registered with Mexico (down 10.2 percent to $4.4 billion) and Ireland (down 35.7 percent to $1.8 billion).
The U.S. continued to run trade surpluses with Hong Kong (down 32.3 percent to $2.1 billion), Australia (up 23.1 percent to $1.6 billion) and Brazil (down 44.4 percent to $0.5 billion).