US Trade Deficit at 7-Month Low


The trade gap in the US narrowed to USD 40.81 billion in September, the lowest since February. Exports went up 1.6% led by artwork, antique, stamps, jewelry and capital goods while imports fell by 1.8% due to decrease in value of petroleum shipments and higher domestic oil production.

Total exports went up 1.6 percent month-over-month to USD 187.9 Billion in September of 2015, rebounding from a 2 percent fall in the previous month. Exports of goods increased USD 2.9 billion to USD 127.3 billion. Shipments of consumer goods went up by USD 1.3 billion boosted by artwork, antiques, and stamps (+USD 0.5 billion) and jewelry (+USD 0.3 billion) and sales of capital goods increased by USD 0.9 billion.

Exports of services increased by USD 0.1 billion to USD 60.6 billion in September boosted by higher sales of: travel (+USD 0.1 billion) and other business services, which includes research and development services; professional and management services; and technical, trade-related (+USD 0.1 billion).

Exports to Canada (+0.4 percent), the European Union (+7.7 percent) and China (+2.8 percent) rose in September. In contrast, sales to Japan shrank 13.8 percent to its lowest since April of 2010 and shipments to Mexico edged down 0.1 percent.

Total imports fell 1.8 percent month-over-month to USD 228.7 Billion in September, after gaining 1 percent in the previous month, reaching the lowest since February. Imports of goods decreased by USD 4.4 billion to USD 187.6 billion. Industrial supplies and materials dropped by USD 1.6 billion to its lowest since August of 2009 mainly due to decrease in imports of crude oil (-USD 1.3 billion) and capital goods (-USD 1.0 billion) including civilian aircraft (-USD 0.6 billion).

Imports from Japan (-6.5 percent), the European Union (-1 percent) and Brazil (-13.3 percent) fell but from China rose 3.6 percent hitting a record high.

In September, the trade deficit widened with China (-36.277 billion), Mexico (-USD5.761 billion), Japan (-USD5.209 billion) and Canada (-USD1.986 billion) but narrowed with the European Union (-11.823 billion). 

Considering the third quarter of 2015, the average goods and services deficit decreased USD 1.5 billion to USD 43.5 billion. Average exports increased USD 0.1 billion to USD 187.2 billion while imports decreased USD 1.4 billion to USD 230.8 billion in September.


The Commerce Department | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
11/4/2015 2:28:45 PM