Increased Trade Deficit: Exports Up Along with Imports
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently announced that December 2011’s exports increased slightly from November’s $177.5 billion to a total of 178.8 billion. While the $1.2 billion increase is positive news, imports, unfortunately, increased at a greater pace of $3.0 billion. This imbalance led to an increase in the total U.S. trade deficit from $47.1 billion in November to $48.8 billion on December.
In December, the goods deficit increased $1.8 billion. On a positive note, the export of services has remained a bright spot with an ongoing surplus—in December the services surplus was $15.5 billion—essentially unchanged from previous months.
For the three months ending in December, the average trade deficit was $46.3 billion. Bumped back one month to exclude December, that three-month average was $44.6 billion.
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