Background

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services fell another 6.5 percent in May to $43.1 billion, its third straight monthly decline, according to trade statistics released by the Department of Commerce. Exports jumped 1.9 percent to a record $215.3 billion while imports rose 0.4 percent to $258.4 billion.

For the year to date, the total deficit is up 7.9 percent from 2017. Exports have risen 8.8 percent over the same period as a year earlier while imports have increased 8.6 percent.  

The deficit in goods trade dropped 3.8 percent to $65.8 billion in May. Imports of goods were up 0.5 percent to $210.7 billion, including increases of $600 million in telecommunications equipment, $400 million in computers, and $300 million in civilian aircraft parts along with a $600 million decrease in pharmaceutical preparations. Exports of goods grew 2.6 percent to $144.9 billion, including increases of $2.0 billion in soybeans and $1.9 billion in civilian aircraft along with a $900 million decrease in other petroleum products.

The services surplus moved ahead 2.3 percent to $22.7 billion as imports slipped 0.2 percent to $47.7 billion and exports gained 0.6 percent to $70.4 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$32.0 billion

+3.9

   

European Union

$11.9 billion

-10.9

   

Japan

$6.0 billion

+1.7

   

Mexico

$5.8 billion

-3.3

   

Germany

$5.7 billion

+1.8

   

Italy

$2.6 billion

+8.3

   

India

$2.6 billion

+30.0

   

Canada

$2.2 billion

+29.4

   

South Korea

$1.4 billion

+7.7

   

Taiwan

$1.4 billion

+27.3

   

France

$1.2 billion

-25.0

   

South/Central America

   

$3.6 billion

-12.2

Hong Kong

   

$2.8 billion

+27.3

Singapore

   

$0.9 billion

+28.6

Brazil

   

$0.8 billion

+33.3

United Kingdom

   

$0.6 billion

-33.3

Saudi Arabia

   

Less than $0.1 billion

Change from $0.9 billion deficit

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