The Census Bureau's International Trade Report shows the trade deficit shrunk by 2.1% in April but that is the result of a trade deficit revised higher in March. Overall, cross-border trade continues a decline.

Exports, Imports, and Balance

  • April exports were $206.8 billion, $4.6 billion less than March exports. April imports were $257.6 billion, $5.7 billion less than March imports.
  • The April decrease in the goods and services deficit reflected a decrease in the goods deficit of $1.0 billion to $71.7 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $0.1 billion to $20.9 billion.
  • Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $4.1 billion, or 2.0 percent, from the same period in 2018. Exports increased $8.3 billion or 1.0 percent. Imports increased $12.4 billion or 1.2 percent.

Three-Month Moving Averages

  • The average goods and services deficit decreased $0.6 billion to $50.9 billion for the three months ending in April.
  • Average exports decreased $0.2 billion to $209.3 billion in April.
  • Average imports decreased $0.8 billion to $260.2 billion in April.

Trump Will Howl

The trade picture is weakening even as year-to-date trade deficits expand.

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Even if one mistakenly belies that trade deficits represent a huge problem, Trump's trade war with Canada is preposterous. The US has a goods and services trade surplus with Canada for at least 3 years running.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock