Trade Deficit Increased in December
The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the U.S. monthly international trade deficit increased to $59.8 billion in December, from $50.3 billion in November, as imports increased and exports decreased. The goods deficit increased $9.0 billion in December to $81.5 billion. The services surplus decreased $0.5 billion in December to $21.8 billion.
The trade gap worsened at the end of last year, suggesting the broader forces that are driving the deficit expansion are intensifying and not abating, even as tariffs kick in. The overall monthly trade gap in December was the widest since 2008, jumping 19% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $59.8 billion. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a $57.3 billion gap.
Exports of goods and services decreased $3.9 billion, or 1.9 percent, in December to $205.1 billion. Exports of goods decreased $3.9 billion and exports of services decreased less than $0.1 billion.
• The decrease in exports of goods mostly reflected decreases in industrial supplies and materials ($2.1 billion) and in capital goods ($1.7 billion).
• The decrease in exports of services mostly reflected a decrease in transport ($0.2 billion). An increase in financial services ($0.1 billion) partly offset the decrease.
Imports of goods and services increased $5.5 billion, or 2.1 percent, in December to $264.9 billion. Imports of goods increased $5.1 billion and imports of services increased $0.5 billion.
• The increase in imports of goods mostly reflected increases in capital goods ($2.7 billion) and in consumer goods ($2.4 billion).
• The increase in imports of services mostly reflected an increase in transport ($0.4 billion).
Goods by Selected Countries and Areas: Monthly –
The December figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with South and Central America ($3.5), Hong Kong ($2.2), Brazil ($0.8), United Kingdom ($0.6), and Singapore ($0.4). Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China ($38.7), European Union ($15.8), Mexico ($8.8), Germany ($5.7), Japan ($5.5), Italy ($3.0), South Korea ($1.7), Taiwan ($1.6), France ($1.5), India ($1.4), OPEC ($1.3), Saudi Arabia ($1.2), and Canada ($0.7).
• The deficit with China increased $3.2 billion to $38.7 billion in December. Exports increased $0.4 billion to $7.7 billion and imports increased $3.6 billion to $46.4 billion.
• The deficit with Mexico increased $2.1 billion to $8.8 billion in December. Exports decreased $1.3 billion to $21.1 billion and imports increased $0.8 billion to $29.9 billion.
• The deficit with India decreased $0.4 billion to $1.4 billion in December. Exports increased $0.6 billion to $3.3 billion and imports increased $0.3 billion to $4.7 billion.
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