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Trade Deficit Falls as Exports Hit Record, Imports Slip

Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade statistics released July 3 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. trade deficit saw its first decline in five months in May, falling 5.5 percent to $44.4 billion. Exports climbed 1.0 percent to an all-time high $195.5 billion, driven by record exports of consumer goods, automotive vehicles and parts, travel, transport services, and telecommunications, computer and information services. Imports edged down 0.3 percent to $239.8 billion, though non-petroleum imports rose to a record high. Compared to a year earlier, the May trade deficit was down $0.4 billion as exports increased 4.4 percent and imports grew by 3.4 percent. However, the year-to-date deficit has risen 5.8 percent compared to the same period in 2013.

The monthly deficit in goods trade was down 3.7 percent to $63.3 billion. Exports of goods rose 1.2 percent to $136.7 billion while imports lost 0.4 percent to $200.0 billion. The services surplus gained 1.6 percent to $18.9 billion as exports were up 0.5 percent to a record $58.8 billion and imports were virtually unchanged at $39.9 billion.

With respect to individual trading partners, the U.S. saw larger deficits with China (up 5.5 percent to $28.8 billion), Canada (up 3.7 percent to $2.8 billion) and Korea (up 17.4 percent to $2.7 billion). Smaller deficits were registered with the European Union (down 12.1 percent to $12.3 billion), Germany (down 5.7 percent to $6.6 billion), Japan (down 15 percent to $5.1 billion), Mexico (down 6.5 percent to $4.3 billion), Saudi Arabia (down 35.7 percent to $2.7 billion), India (down 22.6 percent to $2.4 billion), Ireland (down 19.2 percent to $2.1 billion) and Venezuela (down 20 percent to $1.6 billion).

The U.S. continued to run trade surpluses with Hong Kong (down 7.4 percent to $2.5 billion), Australia (down 28.6 percent to $1.2 billion), Brazil (unchanged at $1.1 billion) and Singapore (up 11.1 percent to $1.0 billion).

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