• U.S. Trade Deficit Increased 17.1% to $46.6 billion in December

    U.S. Trade Deficit Increased 17.1% to $46.6 billion in December

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. trade deficit increased 17.1% to $46.6 billion in December, up from $39.8 billion in November. “December exports were $194.9 billion, down $1.5 ¬†billion from November. December imports were $241.4 billion, up $5.3 billion from November.”

    “For 2014, the goods and services deficit was $505 billion, up $28.7 billion or 6.0 percent from 2013. Total exports were $2,345.4 billion, up $65.2 billion or 2.9 percent. Imports were $2,805.5 billion, up $93.9 billion or 3.4 percent.”

    The U.S. exported $2.5 billion less goods in December than November 2014. The decrease in exports occurred in industrial supplies and materials, non-monetary gold, and other petroleum products. Conversely, the U.S. imported $4.4 billion more in December compared to November of 2014. The increase in imports occurred in industrial supplies and materials, crude oil, and other petroleum products.

    For the year, “exports of goods increased $42.3 billion to $1,635.1 billion” while “imports of goods increased $77.5 billion to $2,371.9 billion.” U.S. exports of capital goods, industrial machines, civilian aircraft, pharmaceutical preparations, and artwork, antiques, and stamps contributed to the increase in 2014. U.S. imports of capital goods, industrial machines, telecommunications equipment, consumer goods, pharmaceutical preparations, and cell phone and other household goods increased in 2014.

    In 2014, the U.S. recorded a trade surplus with Hong Kong, South and Central America, Australia, and Singapore. For the same time period, the U.S. recorded a trade deficit with China, the European Union, Germany, Japan, Mexico, OPEC, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Italy, South Korea, India, and Venezuela.

    Interestingly, “the deficit with China increased $23.9 billion to $342.6 billion in 2014. Exports increased 2.3 billion to $124 billion and imports increased $26.2 billion to $466.7 billion. The deficit with Germany increased $6.8 billion to $73.7 billion in 2014. Exports increased $2.1 billion to $49.4 billion and imports increased $8.8 billion to $123.2 billion.”

    According to Reuters, “the U.S. trade deficit in December widened sharply to its highest level since 2012 as a stronger dollar appeared to suck in imports and weigh on exports”. Further, “it was the biggest percentage increase since July 2009 and also reflected a sputtering global economy”.

    Sources:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis

    Reuters: U.S. trade deficit widens; weekly jobless claims up modestly