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Trade Deficit Declines as Exports Hit Record, Imports Rise

Thursday, December 05, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade statistics released Dec. 6 by the Department of Commerce show that the monthly U.S. trade deficit fell 5.6% in October to $40.6 billion. Monthly exports saw a 1.8% gain to a record $192.7 billion and imports were up 0.4% to $233.3 billion. Compared to a year earlier, the October trade deficit was down $2.0 billion as exports climbed 5.5% and imports rose 3.6%.

The monthly deficit in goods trade was down 3.5% in October to $60.2 billion. Exports of goods rose $3.0 billion to $135.3 billion and imports edged up $0.8 billion to $195.5 billion. The services surplus widened by $0.1 billion to $19.6 billion as exports and imports saw gains of $0.4 billion and $0.3 billion, respectively.

According to the Export-Import Bank, over the last 12 months exports of goods and services totaled $2.3 trillion and grew at an annualized rate of 9.8% percent when compared to 2009. Also during this time, major U.S. export markets (those with at least $6 billion in annual imports of U.S. goods) with the largest annualized increases in U.S. goods purchases compared to 2009 were Panama (27.6%), Russia (22.3%), United Arab Emirates (20.9%), Hong Kong (20.7%), Peru (20.2%), Chile (19.3%), Colombia (18.7%), Argentina (17.2%), Ecuador (16.9%) and Saudi Arabia (16.0%).

With respect to individual trading partners, the U.S. saw larger deficits in October with the European Union (up 78.8% to $14.3 billion), Germany (up 13.1% to $6.9 billion), Japan (up 16.4% to $6.4 billion), Ireland (up 77.8% to $3.2 billion), India (up 17.6% to $2.0 billion) and Venezuela (up 46.2% to $1.9 billion). Deficits declined with China (down 5.2% to $28.9 billion), Mexico (down 22.6% to $4.1 billion), Saudi Arabia (down 3.1% to $3.1 billion), Canada (down 6.3% to $3.0 billion) and Korea (down 20% to $1.7 billion).

The October figures also show trade surpluses with Hong Kong (down 12.5% to $2.8 billion), Brazil (up 70% to $1.7 billion), Australia (down 6.7% to $1.4 billion) and Singapore (down 7.7% to $1.2 billion).

Census notes that beginning with the January 2014 release of trade statistics it will publish seasonally adjusted import and export data, on a monthly and quarterly basis, for the following countries and world areas: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Kingdom, European Union, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Newly Industrialized Countries, South/Central America, and Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement.

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