March Trade Deficit Jumps To $48.2 Billion As Imports Surge

Tyler Durden's picture

And just as Citigroup predicted, US imports surge even as US exports jump to a record $172.7 billion. But the story is once again in the GDP reducing imports which jump by a whopping $220.8 billion, a $10.4 billion jump M/M. The total deficit of $48.2 billion is the highest since the June 2010 spike which hit $49.9 billion. From the release: "Exports increased to $172.7 billion in March from $165.0 billion in
February. Goods were $124.9 billion in March, up from $117.8 billion
in February, and services were $47.7 billion in March, up from $47.2
billion in February. Imports increased to $220.8 billion in March from $210.4 billion in
February. Goods were $187.0 billion in March, up from $176.9 billion
in February, and services were $33.8 billion in March, up from $33.5
billion in February. For goods, the deficit was $62.1 billion in March, up from $59.1 billion
in February. For services, the surplus was $13.9 billion, up from $13.7
billion in February." Ah, financial innovation being exported as per usual. Look for another round of Q1 GDP downgrades as this number takes out a few basis points in growth. As we know from China that April exports to the US jumped even more, this import surge will likely carry over into Q2 and result in more GDP cuts.

Graph of International Trade Balances

More details:

  • The February to March increase in exports of goods
    reflected increases in industrial supplies and materials ($2.5 billion);
    automotive vehicles, parts and engines ($1.6 billion); capital goods
    ($1.0 billion); other goods ($0.8 billion); consumer goods ($0.7
    billion); and foods, feeds, and beverages ($0.6 billion).
  • The February to March increase in imports of goods
    reflected increases in industrial supplies and materials ($7.7 billion);
    automotive vehicles, parts and engines ($2.1 billion); capital goods
    ($1.6 billion); and other goods ($0.6 billion). A decrease occurred
    in consumer goods ($2.0 billion). Foods, feeds, and beverages were
    virtually unchanged.
  • The February to March increase in exports of services was more than
    accounted for by increases in other private services ($0.3 billion),
    which includes items such as business, professional, and technical
    services, insurance services, and financial services, other
    transportation ($0.1 billion), which includes freight and port services,
    passenger fares ($0.1 billion), and transfers under U.S. military
    agency sales contracts ($0.1 billion). A decrease in royalties and
    license fees ($0.1 billion) was partly offsetting. Changes in the other
    categories of services exports were small.
  • The February to March increase in imports of services was
    mostly accounted for by increases in other transportation ($0.2 billion)
    and other private services ($0.1 billion). Changes in the other
    categories of services imports were small.

And on the key relationship with China:

  • The goods deficit with China decreased from $18.8 billion in February to
    $18.1 billion in March. Exports increased $1.1 billion (primarily
    industrial machines; civilian aircraft, engines, equipment, and parts;
    and passenger cars) to $9.5 billion, while imports increased $0.3
    billion (primarily computers and accessories and telecommunications
    equipment) to $27.6 billion.

Which, as usual is quite funny, considering that from a Chinese perspective, exports to the US in March were $13 billion, and in April $15.1 billion. In other words, in March there was just a 30% discrepancy between the two most prevaricating economies.

More importantly, Tim Jeetner is on the job: the CNY parity was set at 6.4948 by the PBoC last night. A new record. And all is well, as now the US and China promise to play good in international trade. The following is the text of the framework for
promoting strong, sustainable, and balanced growth and economic
cooperation agreed to by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan:

Following the consensus reached by President Hu Jintao and
President Obama in Washington D.C. on January 20, 2011, the special
representatives of President Barack H. Obama and President Hu Jintao,
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Chinese Vice Premier Wang
Qishan, have elaborated a framework of comprehensive economic
cooperation (the Framework) in the third round of S&ED in May 2011.

The United States and China affirm that both countries will, based
on common interest, promote more extensive economic cooperation, from a
strategic, long-term, and overarching perspective, to work together to
build a comprehensive and mutually beneficial economic partnership, add
to prosperity and welfare in the two countries, and achieve strong,
sustainable, and balanced growth of the world economy.

I. Principles

1. The framework for comprehensive economic cooperation is based
on the national interest of each country in strong, sustainable, and
balanced economic growth and continued growth in employment. At the
same time, the U.S.-China economic relationship is based on a wide range
of common and overlapping interests. Each country recognizes that the
health and continued growth of the other's economy is indispensible to
its own prosperity.

2. As the two largest economies in the world, economic outcomes and
policy actions in the United States and China have a significant impact
on the health of the global economy. The United States and China
recognize and take into account the impact their policies have on the
global economy, and cooperate to strengthen the international trade and
financial institutions that support global growth and stability.

3. As a part of expanded, closer, and more extensive economic
cooperation, China and the United States are increasing the extent of
their consultation on policy actions that affect the interests of the
other country.

4. The implementation of the U.S.-China Framework relies on
existing mechanisms of dialogue and cooperation. The two countries
reaffirm their pledge to implement commitments as set forth in the S&ED
Economic Track Joint Fact Sheets.

II. Deepen Macroeconomic Cooperation

Both countries recognize the fundamental consistency between their
goals to promote strong, sustainable, and balanced growth, and commit to
further strengthen macroeconomic-policy communication and coordination.

5. The two countries are strengthening use of existing channels to
deepen cooperation on macroeconomic, fiscal, financial, and structural
issues relevant to our two economies and to the health of the global

6. The two countries reiterate their support for the G-20 Framework
for Strong, Sustainable, and Balanced Growth and reaffirm their
commitments to improve the living standards of our citizens through
strong economic and jobs growth, and to use the full range of policies
to strengthen the global recovery and to reduce excessive external
imbalances and maintain current account imbalances at sustainable
levels. The United States and China affirm active support for the
mutual assessment process of the G-20.

7. Both countries pledge to work together with other countries to
maintain the stability of international monetary environment. The United
States pledges to maintain vigilance against excess volatility in
exchange rates, and China pledges to continue to enhance RMB exchange
rate flexibility.

III. Develop a More Balanced Trade and Investment Relationship

The two countries recognize the importance of open trade and
investment for promoting innovation, creating jobs, and boosting incomes
and economic growth. The United States and China are committed to
further expanding bilateral trade and investment, fostering more open
trade and investment globally, and fighting against trade and investment

8. Both countries commit to take comprehensive measures to promote
more balanced trade between the United States and China.

9. The two countries are committed to working proactively to
resolve bilateral trade and investment disputes in a constructive,
cooperative, and mutually beneficial manner.

10. The two countries recognize the importance of the principle of
nondiscrimination in government procurement and innovation policies, as
jointly acknowledged in S&EDs I and II, and reaffirm their continued
support for the strong protection of intellectual property rights.

11. The two countries are committed to fostering open and fair
investment environments, and continuing to promote transparency and
predictability for investors of both countries.

12. The two countries undertake to explore new cooperation
opportunities in the process of transforming and restructuring their
economies, including in infrastructure development.

13. Both countries commit to actively develop sub-national economic
cooperation, and promote communication and exchange between enterprises,
think tanks, and universities. The two countries undertake to improve on
mechanisms including the U.S.-China Investment Forum, the U.S.-China
Governors Forum, and the U.S.-China Initiative on City-level Economic
Cooperation, and further promote the "second-track" dialogue between
business leaders and academics in both countries.

IV. Deepen Cooperation in the Financial Sector

The two countries pledge to further deepen bilateral and
multilateral cooperation on financial sector development, investment,
regulation, and supervision, and cooperate to support flows of
productive capital into, and the efficiency and stability of, financial
markets of both countries.

14. The United States and China recognize the importance of fair
and open investment environments and support an open environment for
investment in financial services and cross-border portfolio investment,
consistent with prudential and national security requirements.

15. China and the United States commit to deepen their cooperation
to ensure financial sector stability and strengthened financial sector
regulation and supervision, both bilaterally and in the G-20, the
Financial Stability Board, and international standard-setting bodies.

V. Strengthen Regional and International Economic Cooperation

16. The United States welcomes China playing a bigger role in
international economic affairs. China recognizes the important role the
United States plays in the international economic system and in the
Asia-Pacific region, and welcomes U.S. participation in and contribution
to economic stability and prosperity in the region.

17. The two countries pledge to strengthen communication and
coordination and to support a bigger role for the G-20 in international
economic and financial affairs.

18. Both countries recognize the important role of APEC as a
platform for economic cooperation in Asia and the Pacific, and pledge to
enhance coordination and cooperation under the APEC framework.

19. The two countries pledge to work together to strengthen the
global financial system and reform the international financial
architecture. The two countries are continuing their strong cooperation
to strengthen the legitimacy and improve the effectiveness of the
International Monetary Fund, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), and
other institutions involved in global economic governance.

20. The two countries intend to jointly promote efforts of the
international community to assist developing countries, in particular
the Least Developed Countries, to achieve the Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs). Both sides, in partnership with the Multilateral
Development Banks, undertake to explore cooperation that supports global
poverty reduction and development, and regional integration to
contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Timothy F. Geithner Wang Qishan

Secretary of the Treasury Vice Premier

For the United States of America For the People's Republic of China

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Sudden Debt's picture

YES WE CAN print it!



mrgneiss's picture

And precious metals were hit pre-release, what a shocker!  Must be a coincidence.........

Gavrikon's picture

Although this does happen most every morning.

Thomas's picture

It's just inflation, bitchez!

captcorona's picture

Actually..there's no such thing as a trade defeciet..unless the trade is done on credit...Something of lessor value is exchanged between the two parties..make an even trade! You want fiat be it..I want tangible be it...Neither party would make the trade unlsess they perceived value!

Thorlyx's picture

Crappy trinkets paid in crappy currency. Sounds like a fair trade to me.....Go on and jack the numbers. More, more, more....

Cdad's picture


Shocker.  Trade deficit misses.  This on the heels of the MSM touting the great success of Hilary's meetings with the Chinese.  And as if to punctuate the myopic view of trade, a Caterpillar exec on the BlowHorn [CNBC] trying to reinforce the idea that the weak dollar is Grrrrrreat for the US because it makes Cat's earnings soar.  Never mind about the peasants struggling to eat and pay for fuel.

The Crony Corptocracy continues to run wild in DC.


thedrickster's picture

...or those adults that choose to underconsume and save.

The absolutely terrying part is that policy is in large part made by ghouls like that Brookings Institute cat that actually had the chutzpah to tout nominal earnings growth as a wonderful side effect of debasement.

It won't end well, that much is certain.

Cdad's picture

It is already not ending well for Disney...which requires REAL earnings growth in the peasant class to make its qtrly projections.

Sudden Debt's picture

48 billion in products traded for a few pallets of cotton paper :)

Chinese slaves are so smart :)

lolmao500's picture

Cotton paper... or gold platted tungsten.

Gavrikon's picture

At least the tungsten is a useful material.

Sudden Debt's picture

I agree, but how many paper weights can a person use?

The cotton on the other hand is good for insulation and burn real nice in a stove.


Sudden Debt's picture


and the cotton paper isn't that cheap either. The FED can actually print 28 million 100 dollar bills a hour. It actually takes them 71 days to print that trade deficit! More than 400 people have to work for that!!!

And what does China have to do for it?

Not much, because I've heard working is like a hobby for them.



SheepDog-One's picture

A month of imports or 1/12th of economic trade activity is only about an hour of Jeethner and PD buggery...whats todays bond-fest amount $30 billion? The torture never stops, Frank Zappa.

YouTube - Frank Zappa - The Torture Never Stops (From the DVD)

Archimedes's picture

Hey, wasn't the devaluing of our currency supposed to cause an export boom? I hate to say it but most of my fellow Americans are so clueless they deserve what is coming.....

oogs66's picture

All we will hear on cnbs is that exports hit a record

SheepDog-One's picture

Of course, theyre WHORES who get directed spin to keep the 401K Bathrobe Brigades sitting at home watching CNBC with 'record' on hoping to get an upskirt shot of Becky Quick or Erin Burnett, diverted from any worry of placing a sell order...calm as Hindu cows.

topcallingtroll's picture

But I love Maria!

She is the nicest and sweetest of the cnbc girls.

I wanna fuck her brains out.

Global Hunter's picture

According to the graph imports and exports have been steadily increasing for the last 2 years, the trade imbalance aside that insinuates that there is increasing levels of economic activity, trade and commerce.  Problem is I don't believe that the economy has been steadily improving so why do these numbers keep increasing just like the price of food, energy and other commodities has been increasing?  Maybe the Bernank has a theory.

SheepDog-One's picture

Our 2 largest exports, printed up money, and jobs, explains it.

uhb's picture

I thought precious metals were second.....

pazmaker's picture

I thought our largest exports were arms, ammunitions and war...

captcorona's picture

#1 Export = Inflation...#2 Export = BS

Thorlyx's picture

I thought our largest exports were arms, ammunitions and war...

also called export of democracy.

Cdad's picture

The trade number is skewed to a very select group of mega cap companies that export.  Problem...these companies account for almost no job growth.  As such, the benefit goes to a select few corporate execs and their corresponding shareholders while the broader domestic economy continues to stagnate.

As for the earnings, again they are skewed by the weakening dollar.

In a macro sense, these US export "gains" are meaningless to the peasantry.

SheepDog-One's picture

As usual the peasantry sucks paddy water, but GREAT news for Wall St Crimebots who do a quick computation and see no reason why they shouldnt whip the zero volume froth a bit higher today.

Jim Lahey's picture

Bernank theory explained:  There is no inflation.  Nothing to see here.  And don't you fucking dare touch that 401k..we will be taxing it soon...

Cdad's picture

The first time I heard about the 401k confiscation theory, I thought it crazy.  And now...Greece is moving in on its pensioners as their ability to issue debt hits zero.  

The kleptocracy continues on....and it is only a matter of when.

SheepDog-One's picture

Man...its ALL about keeping the 401K Bathrobe Brigades calm as Hindu cows! They get a bit nervous and start placing sell orders, its over. Ben and Timmah need to keep them calm with lies and an ever melting-up market, or the endgame seizing of all 401Ks/pensions is up in smoke, nevermind the bulldozer effect to the equities markets themselves.

Cdad's picture

Correct, Dog.  This long lie has been required to keep folk still.  It has and continues to be a game of creating confidence where there is none.

Gavrikon's picture

The Irish are instituting a "temporary" tax on their Pensions.  I swear, I am going to cash in my IRA and PAY the DAMNED 10% surcharge.

Cdad's picture

If you are buying or building a home[first time...or if you are a renter for the last three years I think], you can withdraw $10k penalty a few other loop holes that will get you up closer to $15k.

Jim Lahey's picture

Cdad is correct.  IRA premature distribution penalties are also waived for major medical expenses & higher education.

Cdad's picture

Correct.  As well, there is a loop hole for unemployed folk...although you must first prove that you have been on the Fed dole that way.

pazmaker's picture

10%???  are you serious?    30% plus 10% penalty  = 40%\

I want to cash mine out too......I need to do some research and see if there is anyway to avoid losing 40% of it. 

I will do my own reasearch but any one with prior knowledge that wishes to share please do! 



Jim Lahey's picture

Starts with "temporary tax" (see Irish pensions).  Next step, up the tax on premature distribution penalties.  Right now many are withdrawing early just to cover living expenses.  It's a race to the bottom.

Not to worry.  I feel a recovery summer on the horizon.

lizzy36's picture

Something tells me Geithner is pitching and Wang Qishan is catching. Something also tells me that "deeper cooperation", ain't in the cards. They don't call him tiny tim for nothing

augie's picture

Next time i'm with a special lady, i'm going to ask for some "deeper cooperation."

Re-Discovery's picture

Our manufacturing base is gone so the whole "weak dollar/better exports" thingy is over.  What we do get from a weak dollar is higher priced goods coming back to us through imports.  And we pay for it by borrowing, as once again it's important to remember, our manufacturing base is gone. 

So how is this 'end of QE' going to play out again? 

SP666_IsComing's picture

All news everywhere now is completely worthless and irrelevant except for ONE!

Comet (falling angel) Elenin is coming Sept 27, 2011.  Comet Elenin will be the mightiest of all the angels (comets).  It will try to overpower God (the sun), when it crosses directly between the earth and sun and will literally fall to earth.  This comet is the origin of all the old myths about the mightiest angel who fell from grace, banished by god (the sun), and fell to earth … better known to everyone as Lucifer.

This comet’s vapor trail is saturated with dust and it will sweep and engulf the earth in October (the falling angel!).  The massive vapor and dust tail will create enormous rainclouds for DAYS all over the world!!  Water levels will rise EVERYWHERE!

A biblical flood is coming in October!  This is not a joke. This is not a test.

SP-666 will be taken out before October! 

Bankster criminals, murderers and thieves (and all their ilk) have kept this “little” event secret for centuries within their stupid childish secret society cults. For nothing but pure greed and hatred for the rest of humanity, sheeple and markets have been lied to and manipulated for millennium so those greedy little devils … “chosen people” can “inherit the earth” after this event.  They are stealing and raping everyone now to accumulate every last ounce of gold (money) before October.

Financial market schizophrenic meters are off the charts due to the planning for this event!

Wake up world. Protect yourselves. Take appropriate positions, profit from those evil worshippers, survive, and take back some of that stolen bankster booty!

Re-Discovery's picture

Ohh great!  And we have this to look forward to.  I guess the Mayans were wrong then, we won't make it to 2012.

SheepDog-One's picture

NAH just that now we use the Gregorian calendar.