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Trade Deficit Jumps Despite Growing Number of Trade Restrictions

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services rose 8.4 percent in May, according to trade statistics released July 3 by the Department of Commerce. The monthly deficit of $55.5 billion reflected a 2.0 increase in exports to $210.6 billion and a 3.3 percent increase in imports to $266.2 billion. Press reports noted that the latter figure was the largest such gain in more than four years and came in spite of an increasing number of import restrictions imposed by the Trump administration.

The deficit in goods trade rose 6.1 percent to $76.1 billion in May. Imports of goods were up 4.0 percent to $217.0 billion, including increases of $1.5 billion in passenger cars (to a record high), $1.3 billion in crude oil, and $1.4 billion in consumer goods. Exports of goods gained 2.8 percent to $140.8 billion, including increases of $700 million in soybeans, $600 million in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines, and $500 million in civilian aircraft.

The services surplus edged up 0.5 percent to $20.8 billion. Imports were up 0.4 percent to $49.2 billion while exports rose 0.4 percent to $69.8 billion.

For the year to date the deficit was up 6.4 percent from the same period in 2018 as a 1.6 percent increase in imports outpaced a 0.5 percent increase in exports.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$30.1 billion

+2.4

   

European Union

$16.9 billion

+11.9

   

Mexico

$9.1 billion

+15.2

   

Japan

$6.0 billion

-7.7

   

Germany

$5.8 billion

+7.4

   

Italy

$2.6 billion

-16.1

   

Canada

$3.6 billion

+100

France

$2.1 billion

+5.0

India

$1.9 billion

+46.2

Taiwan

$1.5 billion

-25.0

   

South Korea

$1.4 billion

-6.7

   

South/Central America

   

$4.1 billion

-2.4

Hong Kong

   

$2.6 billion

+8.3

Singapore

$0.6 billion

0

Brazil

   

$0.5 billion

-44.4

United Kingdom

   

<$0.1 billion

Shift from $0.4 billion deficit

Saudi Arabia

   

<$0.1 billion

Shift from $0.2 billion deficit

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