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Record-High Imports and Exports Drive Increase in Monthly U.S. Trade Deficit

Tuesday, January 09, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The U.S. monthly trade deficit in goods and services increased 3.3 percent in November to $50.5 billion, which press reports said was the highest monthly total in six years. Exports were up 2.2 percent to a record $200.2 billion while imports also hit an all-time high, rising 2.5 percent to $250.7 billion. For the year to date the U.S. trade deficit is up 11.6 percent over the same period in 2016 as imports (6.7 percent) have risen faster than exports (5.6 percent).

According to Commerce Department statistics, the deficit in goods trade gained 2.5 percent to $70.9 billion in November. Imports of goods were up 3.1 percent to $205.5 billion, including increases of $1.1 billion in cell phones and other household goods, $1.1 billion in crude oil, and $800 million in semiconductors. Exports of goods rose 3.4 percent to $134.6 billion, including increases of $1.2 billion in civilian aircraft, $700 million in consumer goods, and $600 million in passenger cars.

The services surplus was up 0.5 percent to $20.4 billion. Imports fell less than $0.1 billion to $45.3 billion and exports gained 0.2 percent to $65.7 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$33.5 billion

+5.0

   

European Union

$13.5 billion

+12.5

   

Mexico

$5.8 billion

-3.3

   

Japan

$5.8 billion

-1.7

   

Germany

$5.3 billion

0

   

Italy

$2.8 billion

+3.7

   

India

$2.4 billion

+14.3

South Korea

$1.7 billion

-37.0

   

France

$1.3 billion

-18.8

   

Canada

$1.1 billion

-42.1

   

Taiwan

$0.9 billion

-43.8

   

Saudi Arabia

$0.2 billion

Change from $0.3 billion surplus

Hong Kong

$2.8 billion

-21.7

South/Central America

   

$2.6 billion

-33.3

Singapore

$1.0 billion

+42.9

United Kingdom

$0.4 billion

+100

Brazil

$0.3 billion

-72.7

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