The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $53.2 billion in August, up $3.2 billion from $50.0 billion in July, revised.

Exports, Imports, and Balance

  • August exports were $209.4 billion, $1.7 billion less than July exports.
  • August imports were $262.7 billion, $1.5 billion more than July imports.
  • The August increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $3.6 billion to $76.7 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $0.4 billion to $23.5 billion.
  • Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $31.0 billion, or 8.6 percent, from the same period in 2017.
  • Exports increased $129.6 billion or 8.4 percent. Imports increased $160.6 billion or 8.4 percent.

Exports

  • Exports of goods decreased $1.9 billion to $138.9 billion in August.
  • Industrial supplies and materials decreased $2.4 billion.
  • Soybeans decreased $1.0 billion.
  • Consumer goods increased $1.6 billion
  • Exports of services increased $0.2 billion to $70.5 billion in August.

Imports

  • Imports of goods increased $1.7 billion to $215.6 billion in August.
  • Automotive vehicles, parts, and engines increased $1.0 billion.
  • Cell phones and other household goods increased $0.9 billion.

Balance of Trade by Nation

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China Canada Mexico Two-Quarter Total

  • China: -178.785 Billion
  • Mexico: -35.779 Billion
  • Canada: +3.290 Billion

Through two quarters, the balance of trade with China and mexico are on a record negative pace. The US has a small surplus with Canada.

Headwinds for Trump

  • The rising US dollar makes goods exports from the US more expensive and imports cheaper.
  • Tariffs and rate hikes by the Fed both act to strengthen the dollar.
  • The global economy is weaker than the US economy. This serves to boost imports and reduce exports.

Trump is fighting a counterproductive battle that he does not even understand.

China retaliatory tariffs on US soybeans target the US farm belt in a battle highly likely to hurt Republicans in the mid-term elections.

Trump's ballyhooed deal with Mexico and Canada was nothing more than hot air that accomplished nothing.

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Mike "Mish" Shedlock