Tag: manufactured goods exports

Monday Economic Report – May 11, 2015

Here is the summary for this week’s Monday Economic Report: 

Once again, there was evidence last week that significant headwinds have dampened activity in the manufacturing sector. The sector added just 1,000 net new workers in April, marking the third consecutive month with soft hiring. The data suggest that challenges from a strong dollar, slowing growth abroad, lower crude oil prices, residual effects from the West Coast ports slowdown, a cautious consumer and weather have combined to take their toll on the economy, at least for the time being. (continue reading…)

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The U.S. Trade Deficit Widened to a 6 1/2-Year High in March

The Census Bureau said that the U.S. trade deficit widened substantially, up from $35.89 billion in February to $51.37 billion in March. This was the largest monthly trade deficit since October 2008, or roughly 6 1/2 years. There were two primary factors for this. First, goods imports soared for the month, up from $181.27 billion to $197.63 billion. To be fair, however, the February figure was exceptionally low, with March’s value essentially equal to the 2014 goods imports average of $197.58 billion. The larger factor was on the goods exports side. Goods exports rose from $125.59 billion to $127.07 billion, not enough to counteract the gain in imports. Moreover, goods exports in March were well below the 2014 average of $136.26 billion, helping to explain the large shift in the headline trade deficit number over the past few months. Indeed, sluggish growth abroad and a stronger U.S. dollar have combined to present a major headwind for manufacturers seeking to grow demand overseas.  (continue reading…)

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The U.S. Economy Stagnated in the First Quarter

I was not surprised today to see the stagnated growth numbers on the latest GDP data (growth of just 0.2 percent for the first quarter of 2015).  For weeks, I have spoken about a number of headwinds in the economy which have negatively impacted manufacturing activity. These challenges have included weaknesses abroad, a strong U.S. dollar, lower crude oil prices, a West Coast ports slowdown, bad weather in some regions of the country and a still-cautious consumer.

From a manufacturing perspective, the real drag on growth has come from the lack of exports and government spending. With softer global growth and an accelerated dollar, it has been harder for U.S. manufacturers to increase demand overseas. Goods exports fell 13.3 percent in the first quarter, with goods imports edging up 0.9 percent. As a whole, the net export of goods and services subtracted 1.25 percentage points from the final real GDP number. Net exports have been a drain on growth in four of the past five quarters. (continue reading…)

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Monday Economic Report – March 9, 2015

Here is the summary for this week’s Monday Economic Report:

According to the latest NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers, which will be released this morning, business leaders remain mostly confident about activity over the coming months. In fact, 88.5 percent of respondents said they were either somewhat or very positive about the own company’s outlook, and the data are consistent with 3 percent growth in manufacturing production over the next two quarters. Yet, manufacturers who replied to this survey were slightly less upbeat than they were three months ago, when 91.2 percent of respondents were positive in their outlook. Sales, exports and hiring expectations over the next 12 months also decelerated slightly, even as they remain improved from the paces seen a year ago. (continue reading…)

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U.S. Trade Deficit Narrowed Somewhat in January

The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau said that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed somewhat, down from $45.60 billion in December to $41.75 billion. December’s figure exceeded the average of $42.06 billion observed in 2014 as a whole, and it was the highest level of the year. For January, both goods exports (down from $134.22 billion to $128.71 billion) and goods imports (down from $199.23 billion to $190.33 billion) were lower, with the latter falling by more. The trade surplus in the service sector widened marginally, up from $19.42 billion to $19.87 billion. (continue reading…)

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Global Manufacturing Economic Update – February 13, 2015

Here are the files for this month’s Global Manufacturing Economic Update:

Let’s start with some good news. U.S.-manufactured goods exports reached an all-time high in 2014, surpassing $1.4 trillion for the first time, according to Trade Stats Express. Moreover, goods exports from manufacturers grew 1.9 percent in 2014, with exports to the top five markets higher for the year. At the same time, export growth decelerated from the 5.8 percent and 2.6 percent rates of 2012 and 2013, respectively. Sluggish growth abroad and a strengthened U.S. dollar continue to challenge demand. In December, the U.S. trade deficit widened to its highest level of 2014, and the average monthly deficit for the year exceeded that of 2013 ($42.09 billion per month versus $39.70 billion, respectively). (continue reading…)

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Monday Economic Report – February 9, 2015

Here is the summary for this week’s Monday Economic Report: 

Manufacturers in the United States have added roughly 18,800 workers per month on average over the past 13 months, with an average of 29,000 from October through January. This suggests that the momentum in demand and production in the second half of 2014 has led to an uptick in hiring, which is encouraging. Income growth was also higher, with average weekly earnings up 2.0 percent year-over-year in January. At the same time, the larger economy has also seen strong growth, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by nearly 260,000 per month since the end of 2013. The unemployment rate edged up to 5.7 percent, however, as more Americans re-entered the labor force looking for work. The participation rate rose from 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent. (continue reading…)

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U.S. Trade Deficit Increased in December to its Highest Level of 2014

The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau said that the U.S. trade deficit rose to its highest level of 2014, up from $39.75 billion in November to $46.56 billion in December. The trade deficit averaged $42.09 billion per month in 2014, an increase from the $39.70 billion average of 2013. Goods exports were higher in the second half of 2014 ($137.51 billion each month on average) than in the first half ($135.01 billion), which was positive; however, goods imports also increased (up from an average of $196.59 billion to $198.73 billion). (continue reading…)

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U.S. Trade Deficit Narrowed in November; Oil Imports at Lowest Level Since 1994

The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau said that the U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level of 2014, down from $42.25 billion in October to $39.00 billion in November. The trade deficit’s decline, however, stemmed from reduced trade in goods in November. The decrease in goods imports (down from $200.19 billion to $195.01 billion) simply outpaced the decline in goods exports (down from $138.58 billion to $136.73 billion). Meanwhile, the service sector trade surplus narrowed marginally (down from $19.36 billion to $19.28 billion).

Petroleum trade flows helped to explain at least part of the decline in the November trade deficit. Petroleum exports increased from $7.17 billion to $8.27 billion; whereas, petroleum imports dropped from $16.87 billion to $15.84 billion. The Census Bureau said that the 188.87 million barrels of crude oil imported in November was the lowest level since February 1994, illustrating the changing dynamics that have come from the U.S.’s renewed energy abundance. It was also likely influenced by sharply lower crude oil prices. (continue reading…)

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U.S. Trade Deficit Edged Marginally Lower in October

The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau said that the U.S. trade deficit edged marginally lower, down from $43.60 billion in September to $43.43 billion in October. The increase in goods exports (up from $136.04 billion to $138.05 billion) essentially matched the gain in goods imports (up from $198.74 billion to $200.72 billion), with the service sector goods surplus rising from $19.10 billion to $19.24 billion.

Petroleum exports have fallen from $14.13 billion in August to $10.98 billion in October. Much of this decline can be explained by lower crude oil costs. Interestingly, however, petroleum imports have declined by less, down from $27.26 billion in August to $26.22 billion in October. As a result, the petroleum trade deficit has risen from $13.13 billion in August to $15.24 billion in October, its highest point in five months. (continue reading…)

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