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US Reports Wider Trade Deficit in June

The U.S. trade balance, what the rest of us have grown used to calling the trade deficit, widened out to -$43.8 billion in June. The May report was originally reported as -$41.9 billion, and that month was revised to -$40.9 billion. Bloomberg had a consensus estimate of -$43.0 billion, from a range of -$44.4 billion to -$40.5 billion.

Some of this likely already has been projected into second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) readings released last week, and it probably is not enough to make much change to GDP on its own, particularly when you smooth this out with the revision for May.

The result of a wider trade deficit was of course due to a rise in imports, met with the challenge that exporters are feeling from a strong dollar now.

Imports rose by about 1.2% in June, due to higher petroleum imports. Still, the price of oil tanked since the end of June and that might even further diminish the impact of this report.

Exports were down by 0.1% in June, reflecting a decline in industrial supplies and capital goods. There was a surplus in the services sector, with the same $19.7 billion surplus from May.

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The trade gap with China rose by $1 billion, up to $31.5 billion. The EU trade gap gained by about $2 billion to $14.5 billion, while the gap with Japan shrank to $5.2 billion. Canada’s trade gap went back to a deficit of $2.5 billion, and the trade gap with Mexico was $6.1 billion in June.

By Jon C. Ogg