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The US trade deficit in February was $49.4 billion down from the prior month's $51.1 billion. We saw a 10-year high deficit of $621 billion in 2018. Trade tariffs appear to be impacting China, the Chinese February trade deficit fell to -$24.76 billion from a deficit of -$34.47 billion.

US Trade Feb 2019

US February trade defcit was smallest since June 2018.

Highlights

  • Exports +1.1% v +0.9% prior
  • Imports +0.2% v -2.6% prior
  • Goods deficit $72.1 v Prior $73.29B
  • Advance goods trade deficit prior $74.4B
  • Services surplus $22.63 v Prior $22.14B
  • US-China deficit $24.76B v $34.47B prior
  • US-OPEC surplus $411 million v $1.25B deficit 

The December gap was also a 10-year high and wider than the median estimate of economists. The merchandise-trade deficit with China, which has been the focus of President Trump’s trade war hit a record $419.2 billion in 2018.

There is no way from hiding from theost of the trade war. The imbalance highlighted in January though lower alone shows how it has boosted the trade deficit with China over the period. Looking at the EU for comparison, exports and imports both surged, though imports did post a larger gain.

Balance of Trade in the United States averaged -14648.09 USD Million from 1950 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 1946 USD Million in June of 1975 and a record low of -67823 USD Million in August of 2006.

Trade Report Breakdown

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $49.4 billion in February, down $1.8 billion from $51.1 billion in January, revised. February exports were $209.7 billion, $2.3 billion more than January exports. February imports were $259.1 billion, $0.6 billion more than January imports.

The February decrease in the goods and services deficit reflected a decrease in the goods deficit of $1.2 billion to $72.0 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $0.5 billion to $22.6 billion.

Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit decreased $8.3 billion, or 7.6 percent, from the same period in 2018. Exports increased $11.1 billion or 2.7 percent. Imports increased $2.8 billion or 0.5 percent. 

Exports

Exports of goods increased $2.1 billion to $139.5 billion in February.

Exports of goods on a Census basis increased $1.9 billion. Capital goods increased $2.1 billion. Civilian aircraft increased $2.2 billion. Automotive vehicles, parts, and engines increased $0.6 billion. Industrial supplies and materials decreased $0.4 billion.

Net balance of payments adjustments increased $0.2 billion.Exports of services increased $0.2 billion to $70.1 billion in February. Transport increased $0.2 billion. Other business services, which includes research and development services; professional and management services; and technical, trade-related, and other services, increased $0.1 billion.

Imports

Imports of goods increased $0.9 billion to $211.6 billion in February.

Imports of goods on a Census basis increased $0.8 billion. Consumer goods increased $1.6 billion. Cell phones and other household goods increased $2.1 billion. Other goods increased $0.5 billion. Industrial supplies and materials decreased $1.2 billion.

Net balance of payments adjustments increased $0.1 billion.

Imports of services decreased $0.3 billion to $47.5 billion in February. Transport decreased $0.2 billion. Travel (for all purposes including education) decreased $0.1 billion. Government goods and services increased $0.1 billion.

Goods by Selected Countries and Areas:

The February figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with South and Central America ($3.7), Hong Kong ($2.8), United Kingdom ($0.9), Brazil ($0.6), Singapore ($0.4), Canada ($0.4), and OPEC ($0.3).

Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China ($30.1), European Union ($12.4), Mexico ($7.7), Japan ($6.7), Germany ($5.5), Italy ($2.8), South Korea ($2.4), India ($2.2), France ($2.2), Taiwan ($1.7), and Saudi Arabia ($0.3).

  • The deficit with China decreased $3.1 billion to $30.1 billion in February. Exports increased $1.6 billion to $9.2 billion and imports decreased $1.5 billion to $39.3 billion.
  • The surplus with Hong Kong increased $1.0 billion to $2.8 billion in February. Exports increased $0.9 billion to $3.2 billion and imports decreased $0.1 billion to $0.3 billion.
  • The deficit with Japan increased $1.3 billion to $6.7 billion in February. Exports decreased $1.1 billion to $5.7 billion and imports increased $0.2 billion to $12.4 billion.

Annual Summary for 2018 Exports, Imports, and Balance

For 2018, the goods and services deficit was $621.0 billion, up $68.8 billion from $552.3 billion in 2017. Exports were $2,500.0 billion in 2018, up $148.9 billion from 2017. Imports were $3,121.0 billion, up $217.7 billion from 2017.

The 2018 increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $83.8 billion, or 10.4 percent, to $891.3 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $15.0 billion, or 5.9 percent, to $270.2 billion. As a percentage of U.S. gross domestic product, the goods and services deficit was 3.0 percent in 2018, up from 2.8 percent in 2017.

Exports 

Exports of goods increased $118.5 billion to $1,671.8 billion in 2018. Exports of goods on a Census basis increased $117.8 billion.

  • Industrial supplies and materials increased $74.2 billion. Crude oil increased $24.6 billion. Other petroleum products increased $14.4 billion. Capital goods increased $28.7 billion. Civilian aircraft engines increased $7.9 billion. Other industrial machines increased $2.9 billion. Computer accessories increased $2.5 billion.

Net balance of payments adjustments increased $0.6 billion.

Exports of services increased $30.4 billion to $828.1 billion in 2018.

  • Other business services, which includes research and development services; professional and management services; and technical, trade-related, and other services, increased $8.5 billion. Financial services increased $4.6 billion. Travel (for all purposes including education) increased $4.3 billion.

Imports

Imports of goods increased $202.2 billion to $2,563.1 billion in 2018. Imports of goods on a Census basis increased $200.8 billion.

  • Industrial supplies and materials increased $68.4 billion. Crude oil increased $24.6 billion. Capital goods increased $52.7 billion. Computers increased $8.7 billion. Electric apparatus increased $5.4 billion. Computer accessories increased $5.4 billion. Other industrial machines increased $5.1 billion. Consumer goods increased $46.1 billion. Pharmaceutical preparations increased $23.7 billion. Net balance of payments adjustments increased $1.4 billion. Imports of services increased $15.4 billion to $557.9 billion in 2018. Travel (for all purposes including education) increased $10.1 billion. Other business services increased $7.0 billion. Transport increased $6.5 billion. Insurance services decreased $13.0 billion.

Goods by Selected Countries and Areas – Census Basis

The 2018 figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with South and Central America ($41.5), Hong Kong ($31.1), Netherlands ($24.8), Australia ($15.2), and Belgium ($14.2).

Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China ($419.2), European Union ($169.3), Mexico ($81.5), Germany ($68.3), Japan ($67.6), Ireland ($46.8), Italy ($31.6), Malaysia ($26.5), India ($21.3), OPEC ($21.2), Canada ($19.8), Thailand ($19.3), Switzerland ($18.9), South Korea ($17.9), France ($16.2), Taiwan ($15.5), Russia ($14.1), Indonesia ($12.6), and Saudi Arabia ($10.5).

The deficit with China increased $43.6 billion to $419.2 billion in 2018. Exports decreased $9.6 billion to $120.3 billion and imports increased $34.0 billion to $539.5 billion.

The deficit with the European Union increased $17.9 billion to $169.3 billion in 2018. Exports increased $35.4 billion to $318.6 billion and imports increased $53.3 billion to $487.9 billion.

The surplus with South and Central America increased $7.3 billion to $41.5 billion in 2018. Exports increased $13.6 billion to $163.8 billion and imports increased $6.3 billion to $122.3 billion.

* * * All statistics referenced are seasonally adjusted; statistics are on a balance of payments basis unless otherwise specified. Additional statistics, including not seasonally adjusted statistics and details for goods on a Census basis, are available in exhibits 1-20b of this release. For information on data sources, definitions, and revision procedures, see the explanatory notes in this release.

Source: bea

From The Traders Community News Desk

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