Tag

trade deficit

U.S. Trade Deficit Widened Slightly in December

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics, Trade | No Comments

The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau said that the U.S. trade deficit widened slightly, up from $42.23 billion in November to $43.36 billion. The underlying data were little changed from the month before, with marginal shift in goods exports (down from $121.94 billion to $121.16 billion) and goods imports (up from $183.18 billion to $183.67 billion). The service sector trade surplus also inched up a touch, increasing from $19.02 billion to $19.16 billion. For 2015 as a whole, the trade deficit averaged $42.29 billion, which was not far from the $42.36 billion seen in 2014. Yet, the underlying data reflect some major changes behind the scenes. Goods exports were off sharply, down from an average of $136.05 billion in 2014 to $126.16 billion in 2015, and a similar trend was seen for goods imports, down from $197.84 billion to $183.48 billion.

A fair share of the reduction in goods trade over the past year can be explained by shifts in the petroleum market. Petroleum exports averaged $8.29 billion in 2015, down from $12.03 billion in 2014. Likewise, petroleum imports fell from an average of $27.83 billion in 2014 to $15.17 billion in 2015. In this latest report, the petroleum trade balance widened marginally, up from $5.46 billion to $5.93 billion. Much of the dynamics in these changes over the past year are attributable to sharply lower crude oil prices, and indeed, the average price per barrel in the December calculations ($36.60) was the lowest since January 2005. Read More

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrowed in September after Soaring in August

By | General, Shopfloor Economics | No Comments

The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau said that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed, down from $48.02 billion in August to $40.81 billion in September. The August figure was the second-highest of the year, with the September reading reflecting an increase in goods exports (up from $124.44 billion to $127.32 billion) and a decrease in goods imports (down from $192.00 billion to $187.62 billion). The bulk of these shifts came from non-petroleum sources, but the petroleum trade deficit also narrowed, down from $6.95 billion to $5.58 billion. Petroleum imports were at their lowest level since May 2004. At the same time, the service-sector trade surplus was off marginally, down from $19.55 billion to $19.48 billion. Read More

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrowed in April After Peaking in March

By | Economy | No Comments

The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau said that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed, down from $50.57 billion in March to $40.88 billion in April. March’s deficit had been the highest in more than three years, and it was likely influenced by the West Coast ports slowdown, which combined with a stronger U.S. dollar and weaknesses in markets abroad have combined to provide a headwind for manufacturers. Therefore, it was encouraging to see the trade deficit return to a level that was more consistent with its recent trend in April. More specifically, the sharp decline in the trade deficit was the result of a significant drop in goods imports (down from $197.08 billion to $189.65 billion) and an increase in goods exports (up from $127.10 billion to $129.00 billion). Read More

Global Manufacturing Economic Update – April 17, 2015

By | Economy, Trade | No Comments

Here is the summary for this month’s Global Manufacturing Economic Update: 

The global economic environment remains challenged, even as it continues to experience modest growth overall. The J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI, for instance, observed the highest production levels since August. Yet, the overall pace of expansion has clearly eased over the past few months. Along those lines, manufacturers in half of the top 10 markets for goods manufactured in the United States reported declining levels of activity in March, up from just two countries in February. Three Asian economies shifted into contraction territory for the month: China, Hong Kong and South Korea. In addition, Brazil and Canada remained challenged, with the latter struggling on lower crude oil prices. Manufacturing in the emerging markets also stagnated in March, with weaknesses in a number of nations counteracting progress in others. Read More

Monday Economic Report – March 9, 2015

By | General | No Comments

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. Read More

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrowed Somewhat in January

By | Economy | No Comments

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. Read More

Monday Economic Report – February 9, 2015

By | General | No Comments

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. Read More

Monday Economic Report – January 12, 2015

By | Economy | No Comments

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

The U.S. economy generated 2.95 million net new nonfarm payroll workers in 2014, the fastest annual pace since 1999. In addition, the unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent, its lowest level since June 2008. One might quibble that these figures overstate the overall health of the labor market, with part-time employment and unemployment still being a challenge. Indeed, the participation rate remains near 30-year lows. Still, the data suggest movement in the right direction. Manufacturers, for instance, hired an additional 15,500 workers on average each month in 2014, with 762,000 more employees since the end of 2009. The sector currently employs just more than 12.2 million workers. Therefore, manufacturing employment has increased at a decent pace of late, consistent with a mostly upbeat outlook. Read More

Monday Economic Report – December 8, 2014

By | Economy, General | No Comments

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

This morning, we will release the results from the latest NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers. Business leaders continue to reflect optimism about the coming months, with 91.2 percent of survey respondents saying they are either somewhat or very positive about their own company’s outlook. Moreover, manufacturers predict growth of 4.5 percent in sales and 2.1 percent in employment  over the next 12 months, with both experiencing the strongest pace in at least two years. Read More

U.S. Trade Deficit Edged Marginally Lower in October

By | Economy, Trade | No Comments

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. Read More