Background

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services resumed its recent upward climb in May with a 3.2 percent increase as the U.S. economy continued its post-COVID recovery. According to trade statistics from the Department of Commerce, the monthly trade deficit of $71.2 billion reflected a 0.6 percent increase in exports to a record $206.0 billion and a 1.3 percent increase in imports to $277.3 billion. The year-to-date deficit was up 45.8 percent from May 2020 (when trade volumes were significantly lower at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic) as exports increased 11.4 percent and imports gained 18.7 percent.

The deficit in goods trade increased 2.6 percent in May to $89.2 billion, the second-largest on record. Imports of goods rose 1.2 percent to $234.7 billion, including increases of $800 million in crude oil and $600 million in fuel oil along with decreases of $1.3 billion in computers and $600 million in telecommunications equipment. Exports of goods gained 0.3 percent to a record-high $145.5 billion, including increases of $800 million in pharmaceutical preparations and $400 million in semiconductors along with decreases of $1.4 billion in civilian aircraft and $400 million in passenger cars.

The services surplus inched up 0.6 percent to $17.9 billion, with imports up 1.7 percent to $42.6 billion and exports up 1.5 percent to $60.5 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$27.2 billion

-16.0

 

 

European Union

$18.5 billion

+14.9

 

 

Mexico

$7.7 billion

-23.0

 

 

Germany

$6.2 billion

+21.6

 

 

Japan

$5.9 billion

+9.3

 

 

Canada

$4.8 billion

+60.0

 

 

Taiwan

$3.3 billion

+3.1

 

 

Italy

$3.2 billion

+10.3

 

 

India

$2.5 billion

-3.8

 

 

South Korea

$2.3 billion

+91.7

 

 

France

$1.5 billion

-21.1

 

 

Saudi Arabia

$0.3 billion

Shift from $0.3 billion surplus

 

 

South/Central America

 

 

$4.0 billion

+21.2

Hong Kong

 

 

$2.7 billion

-10.0

Brazil

 

 

$1.2 billion

+9.1

United Kingdom

 

 

$1.0 billion

+66.7

Singapore

 

 

$0.1 billion

-87.5

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