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 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