US Trade Deficit Shrinks In May


The goods and services deficit in the United States narrowed to USD 46.5 billion in May of 2017 from a USD 47.6 billion gap a month earlier and compared to market expectations of a USD 46.2 billion shortfall. Exports rose 0.4 percent to the highest value in nearly two years mainly boosted by sales of consumer goods and cell phones.

The decrease in the goods and services deficit reflected a decline in the goods deficit of USD 0.9 billion to USD 67.5 billion and an increase in the services surplus of USD 0.2 billion to USD 21 billion.

Total exports increased 0.4 percent to USD 192.03 billion, reaching the highest value since April of 2015. Exports of goods increased USD 0.2 billion to USD 127.2 billion in May: consumer goods rose USD 0.9 billion; cell phones and other household goods increased USD 0.5 billion; automotive vehicles, parts, and engines went up USD 0.6 billion and passenger cars advanced USD 0.4 billion. In contrast, sales of foods, feeds, and beverages decreased USD 0.7 billion and soybeans fell USD 0.6 billion. Exports of services increased USD 0.6 billion to USD 64.8 billion: travel (for all purposes including education) went up USD 0.3 billion and financial services increased USD 0.2 billion.

Total imports edged down 0.1 percent to USD 238.5 billion. Purchases of goods decreased USD 0.6 billion to USD 194.7 billion, mainly due to consumer goods (USD -1.5 billion); cell phones and other household goods (USD -0.9 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and engines (USD -0.7 billion) and passenger cars (USD -1.3 billion). In contrast, imports rose for capital goods (USD 1.3 billion) and computers (USD 0.5 billion). Imports of services went up USD 0.4 billion to USD 43.8 billion: travel (for all purposes including education) rose USD 0.2 billion.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, sales increased to Canada (9.6 percent), Mexico (5.4 percent), China (73.6 percent), Japan (4 percent), the European Union (3.4 percent), Brazil (18.2 percent) and Opec (0.9 percent). On the other hand, sales to Japan fell 13.4 percent. Imports from Japan declined 1.9 percent while purchases rose from China (11.6 percent), Canada (8.2 percent), Mexico (8 percent) and the European Union (2.8 percent).

The US trade deficit widened with China (USD -31.6 billion from USD -27.6 billion in April), the EU (USD -12.8 billion from USD -12.5 billion), Mexico (USD -7.3 billion from USD - 6.3 billion) and Japan (USD -5.8 billion from USD -5.2 billion) but narrowed with Canada (USD -1.4 billion from USD -1.6 billion). 

Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased USD 27.0 billion, or 13.1 percent, from the same period in 2016. Exports went up USD 54.3 billion or 6.0 percent while imports rose USD 81.4 billion or 7.3 percent.


US Trade Deficit Shrinks In May


BEA | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
7/6/2017 1:19:48 PM