US Trade Deficit Rises

July 17, 2009

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Uncategorized reports that total imports rose 2.3% from $149.3 billion, and total exports rose 1.9% from $123.4 billion. The goods deficit increased 3.2%, from $37.2 billion to $38.4 billion. Goods imports increased 2.5%, from $119.4 billion to $122.4 billion, while goods exports increased 2.3%, from $82.1 billion to $84 billion.
The May to June increase in imports of goods reflected increases in industrial supplies and materials ($3.9 billion), automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($900 million), foods, feeds, and beverages ($100 million), and other goods ($100 million). Decreases occurred in consumer goods ($1.7 billion) and capital goods ($100 million).


The May to June increase in exports of goods reflected increases in industrial supplies and materials ($1.2 billion), capital goods ($400 million); foods, feeds, and beverages ($300 million); and automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($100 billion). Consumer goods and other goods were virtually unchanged.

For the three months ending in June, exports of goods and services averaged $123.5 billion, while imports of goods and services averaged $150.8 billion, resulting in an average trade deficit of $27.3 billion. For the three months ending in May, the average trade deficit was $27.8 billion, reflecting average exports of $122.9 billion and average imports of $150.7 billion. The June 2009 goods and services deficit decreased 55% from June 2008, dropping from $60.2 billion. Exports were down $35.8 billion, or 22.2%, and imports were down $69.0 billion, or 31.1%.

Recent consumer and financial news has been mixed. The Employment Trends Index remained flat for third straight month in July 2009, signaling that layoffs may have peaked, although significant new hiring is not expected. In addition, U.S. consumer credit and borrowing rates decreased in June 2009, and the consumer credit rate also decreased in Q2 2009. While this suggests a healthier economic situation for consumers, it also indicates that consumers are cutting back on spending.

In another mixed development, U.S. consumers saw their personal income and disposable personal income (DPI) drop in June 2009, but still increased spending.

On the positive side, unemployment rate dropped from 9.5% in June 2009 to 9.4% in July 2009. As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this marks the first reduction in the unemployment rate since April 2008. However, unemployment in the retail trade segment is on the rise, jumping from 21,000 lost jobs in June to 44,000 lost jobs in July.

In addition, retail sales rose 0.6% in June 2009.

On the negative side, the Consumer Confidence Index dropped from 49.3 in June 2009 to 46.6 in July 2009. In addition, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) shrank 1.2% in Q2 2009, and the RPI (Restaurant Performance Index) slid from 98.3 in May 2009 to 97.8 in May 2009, registering its second straight decline after five consecutive months of growth.

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