New Articles

U.S. Export Volume Declines as Trade Deficit Widens

U.S. Export Volume Declines as Trade Deficit Widens

Washington, D.C. – The volume of U.S. exports unexpectedly hit a five-month low in September, widening the trade deficit by 7.6 percent to $40.3 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC).

The DOC said that September’s shortfall is bigger than the $38.1 billion deficit that the government had forecasted in its recently published advance gross domestic product (GDP) estimate for the third quarter.

As a result, the 3.5 percent annual growth pace it estimated “will probably be trimmed” when the government publishes its revisions later this month.

At the same time, the agency revised August’s trade deficit to $39.99 billion from a previously reported $40.11 billion shortfall. When adjusted for inflation, the trade deficit increased to $50.76 billion from $48.22 billion.

Trade was reported to have contributed only 1.32 percentage points to U.S. GDP growth.

Exports in September fell 1.5 percent to $195.59 billion, the lowest since April, while exports to the European Union fell 6.5 percent and those to China slipped 3.2 percent.

Transpacific shipments to Japan tumbled 14.7 percent with declines also seen in the volume of exports to both Mexico and Brazil.

Overall imports were unchanged in September as petroleum imports hit their lowest level since November 2009. A domestic energy boom has seen the United States reduce its dependence on foreign oil, helping to temper the trade deficit.

Consumer goods imports, however, were the highest on record, as were non-petroleum imports.

Imports from Canada were the highest since July 2008, while inbound shipments from China also hit an all-time record boosting the U.S. trade deficit with that country gap to $35.6 billion, the highest on record.


US Trade Deficit Narrows, Petro Exports Surge

Washington, DC – In a surprise development, the US trade deficit narrowed in August to its smallest level in seven months on an increase in exports.

The trade gap narrowed 0.5 percent to $40.1 billion, while July’s trade deficit was revised to $40.3 billion, according to Department of Commerce figures released this morning.

Increased global sales of capital goods, consumer goods and industrial supplies were credited with the 0.2 percent increase in exports in August.

The trade gap with China narrowed in August, while exports to Japan rose to their highest level since March 1996.

Imports edged up 0.1 percent to $238.6 billion with imports of capital goods during the month were the highest on record.

However, inbound shipments of petroleum dropping to their lowest level since Nov. 2010 as US oil exports are set to surpass a record that’s held for the past 57 years.

The US shipped 401,000 barrels a day abroad in July, 54,000 shy of the record set in March 1957, according to data compiled by the US Department of Energy (DOE).

US oil exports are expected to reach 1 million barrels a day by the middle of 2015, the DOE said.

Canada accounted for 93 percent of US oil shipments in July with Italy, Singapore and Switzerland also accounting for an increasing share of US-sourced oil sales.


US SecCom on Major Philippine Trade Mission

Washington, DC – US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker is leading a major business delegation to the Philippines this week.

The mission is seen as “a concrete sign that the United States is ready to engage Manila in further market access and trade negotiations” that “reaffirms Washington’s commitment to the Philippines and the entire Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region,” said the US Embassy in Manila.

The 12-person, “CEO-level” mission consists of representatives of companies in the services, energy, consumer goods, communications, electronics and mining sectors.

Part of Secretary Pritzker’s itinerary reportedly includes meetings with President Benigno Aquino, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and other key Philippine government officials.

Pritzker has served as Secretary of Commerce for the past two years as a member of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board which formulated and evaluated economic policy.

US goods and services trade with the Philippines totaled $24 billion in 2012, according to the latest trade data available from the US Trade Representative. Exports totaled $10.6 billion; Imports totaled $13.3 billion.

In 2013, US companies invested $1.3 billion in the country, while the US ranked as the Philippines’ third largest trading partner and second largest global export market.