US November Trade Deficit Soars To $48.7 Billion, Sub 1% Q4 GDP Revisions Imminent

Tyler Durden's picture

So much for the US trade renaissance. After posting a better than expected October trade deficit of ($42.1) billion, November saw the net importer that is the US revert to its old ways, with a massive deficit of some $48.7 billion - the worst number since April, far more than the $41.3 billion in expectations, which makes it the biggest miss to expectations since June 2010, driven by a $1.8 billion increase in exports to $182.6 billion, and a surge in imports which rose from $222.9 billion to $231.3 billion. Specifically "The October to November increase in imports of goods reflected increases in consumer goods ($4.6 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($1.5 billion); industrial supplies and materials ($1.3 billion); foods, feeds, and beverages ($0.6 billion); capital goods ($0.4 billion); and other goods ($0.1 billion)." And with this stark reminder that the US has to import the bulk of its products, something which a weak USD does nothing to help, expect a bevy of lower Q4 GDP revisions, as this number may push Q4 GDP in the sub-1% category.

From the release:

Goods by Geographic Area (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

  • The goods deficit with China decreased from $29.5 billion in October to $29.0 billion in November. Exports decreased $0.2 billion (primarily nonferrous metals and oilseeds and food oils) to $10.6 billion, while imports decreased $0.7 billion (primarily apparel and footwear) to $39.5 billion.
  • The goods deficit with Canada increased from $1.7 billion in October to $3.0 billion in November. Exports decreased $1.2 billion (primarily generators, passenger cars, and electric apparatus) to $24.7 billion, while imports increased $0.1 billion (primarily fuel oil) to $27.7 billion.
  • The goods deficit with Mexico increased from $4.4 billion in October to $4.9 billion in November. Exports decreased $1.6 billion (primarily petroleum products, computer accessories, and soybeans) to $18.8 billion, while imports decreased $1.1 billion (primarily crude oil, automotive parts and accessories, and computers) to $23.7 billion.

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Cursive's picture

Bull Thesis:  Demand for autos and stuff is high!

LawsofPhysics's picture

Alcohol sales are in fact very much up.  Long miller.

economics9698's picture

I can fix this for the BLS. 

Change Y = C + I + G + NX or consumption + investment + government spending (grabbing my nut sack right now) + (exports - imports).


To the new Obama GDP formula,

Y = C + I + G + (Imports - Exports)

Obamanomics, yes we can!



AU5K's picture

minor improvement.

Y = C + I + G + (Imports - Exports) + # trillion $ coins minted

Totentänzerlied's picture

You forgot something.

Y = [C + I + G + (Imports - Exports) + # trillion $ coins minted]^(hopefinity + beyond * yes we can)

economics9698's picture

I am into Steel Reserve these days, the true choice of hobos everywhere.

krispkritter's picture

Which in a few years will describe 53% of the population...

Poetic injustice's picture

Just don't get into copper wiring business, that's my turf!

King_of_simpletons's picture

This is great news for the stock market along with low expectations, lowered guidance, high unemployment, uncontrolled spending. We are blessed to live in a fucked up economy.

yogibear's picture

It's a bullish thing. The more fucked up it is the better the market likes it.

AccreditedEYE's picture

That pretty much sums it up. Stop looking for things to make sense.... we're way past that point.

Water Is Wet's picture

You read Reuters' article too?!

The trade deficit unexpectedly grew in November, a drag on economic growth, although the gap's widening was driven by a surge in consumer goods imports, which gives a positive signal for consumer spending.

knukles's picture

Root for the bread lines!
The only way to cure the trade deficit!


Oh wait a minute... under a mercantilist policy want exports to exceed imports to amass the means of exchange, gold, and so...


Yeah!  Root for the Fucking Bread Lines!

(running about nude flailing arms akimbo, singing Kumabayah, pecker flopping about.... Mrs. K chasing with meds and milk...)

GetZeeGold's picture



Better yet.....set it to rap. Just check your sense of shame at the door.

Cursive's picture

@Water Is Wet

Nah.  No need to read MSM or watch CNBS.  Everyone has known the script for at least 2 years now.  Everything is good.  Everything.  Every fucking thing is net positive for the economy.

SheepDog-One's picture

GDP should quickly join interest rate at 0%, and with equity indexes within 5% of all-time bubbletop highs...sounds like pure #WINNING!

knukles's picture

These here ZIRP and deficits sure workin' good this time around. 



(maniacal Woody Woodpecker laughing)

electricgorilla's picture

Import everyones tangible goods and export intangibles like inflation. God Bless America.

GetZeeGold's picture



Export jobs.....and then send the unions to milk them......again.

fonzannoon's picture

It's just astounding to consider that right? Also if you don't like it don't look up. You may see something heading your way.

yogibear's picture

Wait until all those dollars come back. Inflation's already here (price the same but packaging keeps shrinking).It will get a whole lot worse.

pods's picture

This is such a crazy ride that I want to get off.  I think I am waaaaaay to far down the rabbit hole.

In today's false reality, increasing the yellow portion is good, as it means we have exported more inflation.

The optimum plan would be to have zero exports in this upside down world!

Beggar (bugger) thy world neighbor.


midtowng's picture

It's OK because if we are importing more it means consumers are spending more. And we all know that wealth comes from people spending money they don't have.

disabledvet's picture

A large trade deficit does not make a nation rich...I agree. But the fact that the USA can sustain such a massive "imbalance" is a tribute to the terrifying power of Wall Street and it's media cohorts. The President is right to do whatever he can to keep pushing for the USA to be a net producer nation...amazingly even with 500 billion a year in defense spending "it's still not enough to turn the tide." without a doubt bailouts for the "real estate lobby" which is the ultimate form of conspicuous consumption is not "the best path to prosperity." we shall see given the already collapsed consumption numbers (gasoline usage at 1996 levels??!!!) if the USA truly does find a way to "earn it's way through this" as Wall Street demands. I'm sure just printing, devaluing and debauching has nothing to do with any of this of course...

cosmyccowboy's picture

  it's just all the fudged numbers from october for our dear leaders re election campaign coming back into proper accounting!!!! you can only LIE about math for so long....

HD's picture

"you can only LIE about math for so long...."

 Only a few decades. We lie good. We lie you long time.

HD's picture

Double posted for some reason. Move along.

fonzannoon's picture

This numbers are astounding. I think I will go ahead and short the market and buy the vix because this must mean a crash is coming.


a guy about to lose money

AccreditedEYE's picture

LOL! Exactly. While I agree with the story, it just doesn't matter anymore. The market is beyond caring about facts... it's all Fed. Facts are twisted and not reported. Just get long "stuff"

firstdivision's picture

importing and exporting deflation.  USA! USA! USA!

Alpha Dog Food's picture



If you find this too depressing guys, come on over to see me at where we can discuss 'cooking' the books and these figures - or even figures of a different kind :-)


Alpha Dog Food's picture



If you find this too depressing guys, come on over to see me at where we can discuss 'cooking' the books and these figures - or even figures of a different kind :-)


Alpha Dog Food's picture


SO I need to buy.... or is it sell?


DollarDive's picture

When the 7per EMA crosses the 21 period EMA and MACD is greater than negative one and the 14 3 3 slow stochastics is at the 75% level and the money flow index is declining, but the moving average of the VWAP is greater than the weekly moving average of VWAP and the price is testing the 10 day VAL but is close to yesterdays POC.....

then  Lordy Lord .....  IT"S A BUY !!!!

ibbbit ibbbbit ibbbity ibbbit  "And that's All Folks"

DollarDive's picture

.... Yeah but look at how well Canada's Trade Deficit is doing..... don't forget their "brave" (ha ha) fiscal and monetary policy is a model for the world.  


Yuuup  that was a complete line of bullshit.

sbenard's picture

Given that:

GDP = N + I + G + NX

Where NX is net exports

And given that the trade deficit is rising, implying that NX is falling, it is a fairly safe assumption that GDP will be adversely affected, especially since we have learned in recent months that N (conusmer spending) and I (investment) are also contracting. The only thing expanding in that formula is G -- government. And that means still more DEBT!

I see a catastrophe coming!

economics9698's picture

Yes it is, 8.5% of the GDP was borrowed money last time I checked, but revisions coming.

sablya's picture

So when consumers buy it's bad for GDP now?? 

economics9698's picture

According to the formula, Y = C + I + G + NX, any consumption is good and adds but the reality is if you borrow money from china and buy Chinese goods what have you accomplished?

We need more savings and investment which means higher interest rates to reward savers but since the Fed is leveraged 52-1 with low interest long term debt that is not going to happen.

sablya's picture

If the consumption of goods is generally higher then the consumption of US goods is probably higher as well. Since that accounts for 70% of GDP this has to be seen as generally positive.  The import/export component is not nearly as significant as that consideration.

krispkritter's picture

The first thing thet pops into my head is "Who's buying all this shit?!"  Then I realize that the bulk of the consumers in this country are completely unaware of how bad things are because they can still afford the glowing box of 'reality' in their living room(even though the room/house is underwater or being foreclosed) which speaks to their bliss.  And there's a huge segment of the same population using ObamaBux to hold back the rising tide of crap coming their way. Sooner or later though, that tide's going to rise faster than the EBT levy can be stacked and then it's going to make Katrina look like a day in a water park with the Swedish Bikini Team. Damn, only one cup o' coffee down and I'm already getting depressed...I think I'm gonna go outside and shoot something.

john_connor's picture

Analysis of the trade deficit and GDP is so 2007.


Really we should just look at deposit over loans in finer resolution and cash settlement days for the primary dealers.

AccreditedEYE's picture

As usual, John Connor talking sense.

MFLTucson's picture

How can anyone be at all surprised at this when this country re-elected the man who brought us complete imbalance in everything for the past 4 years?  Did you think this would self correct by Bernanke knocking the dollar down?

karzai_luver's picture

These (the) policy has been unbroken and unchanging for at least 40 years you dupe.