Manufactured Good exports Archives - Shopfloor

Trade Numbers Show We Need to do More to Increase Exports

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The full-year 2011 trade figures released today by the Commerce Department showed that the overall deficit in Goods and Services trade grew to $558 billion, up $58 billion from 2010.  The manufactured goods deficit was $450 billion.  Petroleum trade was also in deficit, by $150 billion.  These deficits were partially offset by surpluses in services trade and agriculture.

As has been the case for the past three years, manufactured goods trade was remarkably different with U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners and non-partners.  Manufacturers in the U.S. racked up a $50 billion trade surplus with FTA partners – more than doubling the 2010 surplus of $21 billion.

Manufactured goods trade with non-partners, unfortunately was in deficit by $500 billion.  Over the past three years, the manufactured goods surplus with FTA partners cumulated to $100 billion.  During that same three year period, the manufactured goods trade deficit with non-partners totaled to $1.3 trillion.

Manufactured goods exports to the world reached $1.26 trillion in 2011, up 15 percent over 2010.  FTA partners were the highlight, with exports to them growing one-fourth faster than to non-partners.

The rate of growth for the whole year was on the 15 percent annual growth track needed to double in five years, but a troublesome sign was that the growth fell to an annual rate of 12.5 percent in the fourth quarter – the first quarter to be below the needed path.  An important part of the reason was that manufactured goods export growth to the important European Union market (second only to NAFTA) slipped dramatically, to only 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter.  This shows that the European economic difficulties are already impacting the United States. Read More

Manufactured Exports to Free Trade Partners Lead March Growth

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Commerce Department trade data for March 2011 released today show that the U.S. manufactured goods trade surplus with free trade agreement (FTA) partners is in its fourth year, and in fact is growing over 2010. The January-March 2011 manufactured goods surplus with FTA partners was $9.2 billion, compared to $5.6 billion for the year-earlier period.

The global deficit in U.S. manufactured goods trade for the first three months of 2011 was $100.1 billion, considerably larger than the $76.2 billion amount for the same period of 2010. The manufactured goods deficit with non-FTA partners for January-March 2011 was $109.3 billion, compared to $81.8 billion for the same period of 2010.

To conduct this detailed analysis of March trade figures, the National Association of Manufacturers relied on Census Bureau data from the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) Categories 31-33, which are comparable to U.S. production and domestic shipments data.

The January-March manufactured goods deficit with China was $67.7 billion, two-thirds of the global total. The comparable figure for 2011 was $56.7 billion. The manufactured goods deficit with the European Union also increased significantly, to $23.3 billion for January-March 2011 compared to $14.7 billion for the year-earlier period.
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Manufactured Goods Export Growth Slowing

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Manufactured goods continued to dominate U.S. trade in October, but U.S. manufactured goods export growth has flattened in recent months, according to data released by the Commerce Department today.

October’s seasonally-adjusted manufactured goods exports were $85.3 billion, accounting for 76 percent of all U.S. merchandise exports. Seasonally-adjusted manufactured goods imports stood at $118.6 billion, 73 percent of U.S. merchandise imports.

While the raw data indicate that manufactured goods exports and imports increased in October from September, this is due to seasonal factors. A better picture emerges when the data are seasonally adjusted. Viewed this way, both manufactured goods imports and exports declined in October, but the 1.4-percent decline in imports was considerably larger than the 0.6-percent decline in exports. As a result, the manufactured goods trade deficit contracted slightly to $33.4 billion. October marked the second month of trade balance improvement, and the October deficit was nearly $7 billion smaller than in August.

Contributing to the flatness in October exports were monthly declines in commercial aircraft and semiconductor exports, two important sectors for U.S. trade. The import decline was particularly notable in iron and steel, computers and computer accessories, civilian aircraft and telecommunications equipment.

October manufactured goods exports continued the virtually flat trend they have been on since June 2010, as shown in the graph below. This is not yet reflected in the year-to-date figures, as January-October manufactured goods exports are still running 20 percent ahead of the comparable period for 2009. This growth rate, however, will be endangered if manufactured goods exports do not soon break out of their recent pattern of slow growth.

As has been the case for three years, the latest data show that U.S. manufactured goods trade with U.S. trade agreement partners is running a surplus. So far this year, that surplus is at an annual rate of $20 billion, demonstrating that the U.S. trade agreement program has been the brightest part of the U.S. trade picture.

June Data Confirms Manufactured Goods Trade is Stabilizing

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The sharp decline in U.S. exports and imports of manufactured goods appears to be stabilizing, according to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) analysis of the June trade data released today by the Department of Commerce. (Commerce factsheet)

Manufactured goods exports were $67 billion in June, seasonally adjusted, marking the fourth month in a row of exports being at about $67 billion after falling sharply late last year and early in 2009. Seasonally-adjusted imports were $93 billion, also in line with the average for the past four months.

The manufactured goods balance was stable as well, about at the -$25 billion average deficit for the past four months. That marks a sharp improvement from the roughly -$45 billion peak monthly deficits in 2006, as is apparent in the graph below. The sharp improvement has resulted from exports performing better than imports – in part because of the drop in U.S. demand for automobile and consumer goods imports.

While there is hope the stability in U.S. trade marks the end of the sharp decline in U.S. exports, which are off 25 percent from a year ago, signs of significant growth are not yet apparent. For example, in the critical capital goods sector that normally accounts for half of U.S. manufactured goods exports, only 14 of the 32 product groups showed growth in June.