US International Trade Deficit Drops. Maybe

May exports to Mexico ($22.7 billion) were the highest on record.

The U.S. international trade deficit in goods and services allegedly decreased to $43.1 billion in May from $46.1 billion in April (revised), as exports increased more than imports.*

“The Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders estimates are not based on a probability sample, so we can neither measure the sampling error of these estimates nor compute confidence intervals,” said Census. The 90% confidence interval includes zero.

The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero. What this means is that the U.S. continues to run an enormous deficit as President Trump embarks on a trade war that could increase the deficit more.

Goods on a Census Basis

Exports

  • May exports of goods ($144.2 billion) were the highest on record.
  • May exports of foods, feeds, and beverages ($14.1 billion) were the highest on record.
  • May exports of capital goods ($48.2 billion) were the highest on record.
  • May exports of other goods ($6.2 billion) were the highest on record.
  • May petroleum exports ($14.2 billion) were the highest since December 2013 ($14.3 billion).
  • May non-petroleum exports ($130.0 billion) were the highest on record.

Imports

  • May imports of capital goods ($59.0 billion) were the highest on record.
  • The May import average price per barrel of crude oil ($58.37) was the highest since January 2015 ($59.01).

Country Highlights

Exports

  • May exports to Mexico ($22.7 billion) were the highest on record.
  • May exports to Singapore ($3.3 billion) were the highest on record.

Imports

  • May imports from South Korea ($6.7 billion) were the highest on record.
  • May imports from Singapore ($2.5 billion) were the highest on record.
  • May imports from Canada ($28.3 billion) were the highest since December 2014 ($28.8 billion).

 *All estimates are seasonally adjusted except for the Rental Vacancy Rate, Home Ownership Rate, Quarterly Financial Report for Retail Trade, and Quarterly Services Survey. None of the estimates are adjusted for price changes.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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