Here Come The Q4 GDP Downward Revisions As December Exports Tumble, Trade Deficit Balloons

Tyler Durden's picture

Update: that didn't take long - Barclays Cuts 4Q Tracking GDP to 2.8% From 3.2%

Here come the downward revisions to the "strong" initial Q4 GDP print. Moments ago the December trade deficit was released, and it soared from the impressive November deficit print of $34.6 billion to a far less impressive $38.7 billion, far above the $36.0 billion expected, and an indication that, as we warned, the Q4 GDP revisions are imminent (unless of course inventory numbers rise even more to offset the weakness). As the BEA simply explains, "The deficit increased... as exports decreased and imports increased." Indeed.

Breaking it down:


Exports of goods and services decreased $3.5 billion in December to $191.3 billion, reflecting a decrease in exports of goods. Exports of services increased.

  • The decrease in exports of goods reflected decreases in industrial supplies and materials, in capital goods, in other goods, in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines, and in consumer goods.
  • The increase in exports of services reflected increases in travel, in passenger fares, and in other transportation, which includes freight and port services.


Imports of goods and services increased $0.6 billion in December to $230.0 billion, reflecting increases in imports of both goods and services.

  • The increase in imports of goods reflected increases in consumer goods, in industrial supplies and materials, and in other goods that were partly offset by decreases in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines, and in capital goods.
  • The increase in imports of services reflected increases in travel and in passenger fares that were partly offset by a decrease in other transportation.

Trade broken down by grographic area:

  • The goods deficit with the European Union increased from $10.1 billion in November to $11.3 billion in December. Exports decreased $2.0 billion to $20.9 billion, and imports decreased $0.8 billion to $32.2 billion.
  • The goods deficit with China decreased from $26.9 billion in November to $24.5 billion in December. Exports decreased $0.1 billion to $13.1 billion, and imports decreased $2.6 billion to $37.6 billion.
  • The goods deficit with Canada increased from $1.5 billion in November to $3.4 billion in December. Exports decreased $2.4 billion to $23.3 billion, and imports decreased $0.5 billion to $26.7 billion

However, the biggest story by far is the December collapse in exports, with the following key categories impacted the most: Industrial Supplies: -2.9%, Capital Goods -2.4%, Automotive Vehicles -5.9%, Consumer Goods down 4.4%, and Other Goods: -16.1%.

So did the snow prevent the US from exporting in December too?

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Sudden Debt's picture

America should start to do something with that snow... cash in on it...




cynicalskeptic's picture

If only there was a way to get it all from the east and south to California and the West - where they NEED it

LawsofPhysics's picture

Right, because the aquifers in the East and South don't need to be refilled.


/s  Humanity isn't just another ponzi, it's the ponzi.

Clint Liquor's picture

There is no such thing as a 'Trade Deficit'. They send the US goods created from their raw materials, labor and manufacturing infrastructure and the US sends them money created from 'thin air'. The real question is: Why are they so stupid?

cynicalskeptic's picture

Well, the NE reservoirs are pretty full.  Places dependent on the Rocky Mountain and Sierras snowpack are in serious trouble.

As for the South - seems like the locals feel that pain caused by snow and ice isn't worth the increased water supply 

LawsofPhysics's picture

Honestly, most of the folks I know in the south don't drink much "water" anyway....

Sudden Debt's picture

Why do you think Buffet bought all those trains?


Hubbs's picture

The rain falls mainly on the train in the plain?

The Dunce's picture

Deflation, deflation, deflation.  Learn it, live it, love it.  Bitches.

cynicalskeptic's picture

government stats - lies, more lies and damn lies......    why even bother with the pretense that they mean something?

mayhem_korner's picture



Tell that to the algos, which all feature the following logic:


Silver Sativa's picture

"why even bother with the pretense that they mean something?"

Because the governments of the world are teetering on an economic depression that will put the first Depression to shame. This new depression we're careening into will be called "The Greater Depression," not this "Great Recession" rebranding bullshit that we all hear on the MSM. All this fake good news is simply to delay the inevitable.

MFLTucson's picture

Every part of this financial news is a lie when it posts.  How the fuck is it that these assholes can spy with perfection but cannot create a system that computes accurate data?

cynicalskeptic's picture

you really think they're 'spying with perfection'?  

I suspect they want you to believe that while the truth is they haven't got a clue 98% of the time (they focus on the 2% when they're spying on politicians - gotta keep their funding safe after all)

Panem et Circus's picture

Oh it's accurate, it reports EXACTLY what they tell it to report.

Jason T's picture

twin deficit.. which was last discussed back in 2005 only got much worse since then yet never discussed.

disintegration will continue and there is no power great enough to stop it.  

LawsofPhysics's picture

I had a recently minted MBA tell me, and I quote; "Unfortunately, modern accounting standards and rules dictate that when one has the world's reserve currency, you have to run trade and fiscal deficit".


I politely said, well then, I guess we better let China have the reserve currency ASAP.  Smoke started coming out of his ears.  What the fuck are these academic pricks teaching these kids today?

Panem et Circus's picture

How to wear down your opponent in a negotiation by always bringing up a new issue after your opponent thinks the deal is done.

LawsofPhysics's picture

In that case, this is consistent with fewer and fewer "deals" getting done.  Let these fuckers eat their own financial "products" and die already.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Didn't Peter Falk use that strategy to perfection as Columbo?

TheSkipper1967's picture

I remember when I got my MBA in 2000 and the professors were saying the markets are rational and that all information is quickly spread.  That is the markets are fair and rational.  HA HA  That was also the time that TWC bought AOL in an all stock deal.  I was a user of AOL at that time and said in class how do you buy one company (who really sucked) with the value of another company (who really sucks) and everybody loved it.

TheSkipper1967's picture

sorry meant to say everyone in the class and the professor thought i was nuts.  We were even discussing how the Japanesse were going to kick our butts even though they were propping up all their banks which in turn owned all the corporations.  Funny thinking back now.  Long Gold, Silver, Lead, Long term food and water storage. 

Kaiser Sousa's picture

"welcome to the recovery....."





Buying more real money later on this morning....keep stackin


101 years and counting's picture

the report should say: exports in things people WANT crashed while exports in things people NEED soarded.  gas and diesel exports are going parabolic as the depression deepens in the US.

LawsofPhysics's picture

"gas and diesel exports are going parabolic as the depression deepen" -I hope they are being exchanged for PMs, with 2 billion in asia, we should be able to get our gold back pretty fucking quick.  Sounds good to me.

mayhem_korner's picture



Actually, I think they are being exported with Au kilo bars strapped to the 50 gallon drums.

LawsofPhysics's picture

never go full retard, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Ungaro's picture

"With recoveries like this, who needs a recession?" -- Art Cashin

4Q Federal Reserve and 4Q Jim Cramer

yrad's picture

Hey avatar thief!!

Smegley Wanxalot's picture

Fuckin weather is fuckin us again.  Exports decreased because nobody wants to buy shit that was built when it snowed. 

Fukkin weather ....

MeMongo's picture


If you like your snow! You can keep your snow!! Simple really

Your shovel however does not apply!

Sudden Debt's picture

I bought this snowman on Ebay... and all I got was water...



Sudden Debt's picture

As the BEA simply explains, "The deficit increased... as exports decreased and imports increased." Indeed



Ghostdog's picture

If the numbers are bad, then snow prevented the US from exporting. If the numbers are good, then snow helped the US exports. Duh...

rwe2late's picture

 Long-term trade deficit a problem? For who?

I thought that was how the empire games the world.

Fiat paper exchanged for goods and services.

Isn't the real debate instead about who will eventually be harmed the most by this,

average citizens of the US, or citizens of the 'dependent colonies', err ... trade partners.

Pasadena Phil's picture

Let's consider this on the micro level. Snow and cold are very fickle when it comes to economics. Although they hamper exports, they actually enhance imports. Go figure. I guess if you are a dock worker just standing around because there is nothing there for you to export, you might as well import something.