The International Trade in Goods and Services report shows the trade deficit widened to $47.6 billion in April from $45.3 billion in March.
The April deficit was greater than any Econoday economist’s prediction.
In addition, the Census Department revised the March deficit from $43.7 billion from $45.3 billion.
The bad news is accelerating for the second quarter. The trade deficit widened in April to $47.6 billion from a revised $45.3 billion in March. This opens the quarter on yet another defensive front.
Exports fell 0.3 percent in April to $191.0 billion as a fractional rise in service exports to $64.0 billion could not outmatch a 0.4 percent decline in goods exports to $126.9 billion.
Imports meanwhile jumped 0.8 percent to $238.6 billion with increasing pressure centered in goods but also including services.
The best positive in the details is a rise in aircraft exports and the worst negative is yet another jump in consumer goods imports, up $2.0 billion in the month to $51.0 billion. Country data show a sharp widening with China, to a $27.6 billion total gap in the month, with the EU gap also up sharply to $14.6 billion.
The conclusion? U.S. demand for foreign products is strong and foreign demand for U.S. products is not.
Trade in Goods and Services
Trade in Goods and Services Moving Average
Trump Will Howl
- In September 2016 exports were $188.123 billion.
- In April 2017 exports were $190.975 billion.
- In September 2016, imports were $226.588 billion
- In April 2016, imports were $238.592 billion.
- Imports increased $12.034 billion.
- Exports increased $2.852 billion.
With imports up significantly and exports barely budging for seven months, expect another round of Trump howls over the trade deficit.
This report will also take a couple of ticks off second-quarter GDP estimates.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock