US Trade Deficit In 2016 Was The Biggest In Four Years

Tyler Durden's picture

In a report that will be closely watched by Donald Trump, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the US trade deficit in December decreased modestly last December: In the last month of 2016, the US deficit decreased from $45.7 billion in November (revised from $45.2) to $44.3 billion in December, less than the $45 billion expected, as exports increased more than imports.

The goods deficit decreased $1.2 billion in December to $65.7 billion, offset by a services surplus increased $0.3 billion in December to $21.4 billion.

The breakdown: exports of goods and services increased $5.0 billion, or 2.7 percent, in December to $190.7 billion. Exports of goods increased $4.8 billion and exports of services increased $0.2 billion.

  • The increase in exports of goods mostly reflected increases in capital goods ($3.3 billion) and in industrial supplies and materials ($0.7 billion).
  • The increase in exports of services reflected increases in transport ($0.1 billion), which includes freight and port services and passenger fares, and in travel (for all purposes including education) ($0.1 billion).

Imports of goods and services increased $3.6 billion, or 1.5 percent, in December to $235.0 billion. Imports of goods increased $3.6 billion and imports of services were nearly unchanged.

  • The increase in imports of goods mostly reflected increases in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($1.6 billion), in industrial supplies and materials ($1.1 billion), and in capital goods ($1.0 billion).
  • The change in each category for imports of services was less than $0.1 billion.

Of particular note was the geographic breakdown, something Trump will be especially focused on:

The December figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with Hong Kong ($2.1), South and Central America ($1.0), Singapore ($0.9), Saudi Arabia ($0.4), and Brazil ($0.2). Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China ($30.2), European Union ($12.9), Japan ($6.8), Germany ($5.2), Mexico ($4.6), Italy ($2.8), India ($2.0), South Korea ($1.8), Canada ($1.5), Taiwan ($1.0), OPEC ($1.0), France ($0.7), and United Kingdom ($0.2).

  • The deficit with Canada decreased $1.7 billion to $1.5 billion in December. Exports increased $1.0 billion to $22.4 billion and imports decreased $0.7 billion to $23.8 billion.
  • The deficit with Mexico decreased $1.2 billion to $4.6 billion in December. Exports increased $1.6 billion to $20.7 billion and imports increased $0.5 billion to $25.2 billion.

 

* * *

That was the good news; the bad news is that for all of 2016, the goods and services deficit was $502.3 billion, up $1.9 billion from $500.4 billion in 2015, and the biggest going back to 2012.

Exports were $2,209.4 billion in 2016, down $51.7 billion from 2015. Imports were $2,711.7 billion in 2016, down $49.9 billion from 2015. In short, a substantial slowdown in trade all around.

The 2016 increase in the goods and services deficit reflected a decrease in the goods deficit of $12.5 billion or 1.6 percent to $750.1 billion and a decrease in the services surplus of $14.4 billion or 5.5 percent to $247.8 billion.

As a percentage of U.S. gross domestic product, the goods and services deficit was 2.7 percent in 2016, down from 2.8 percent in 2015.

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1777's picture

but...but...the 'news' told me Everything is Awesome!

The REAL numbers are probably much worse.

petar's picture

Everyone is stacking foreign produced staff cause it might cost more in the future. Good investment!

Clint Liquor's picture

It is interesting that the Budget Deficit and the Trade Deficit stay close to equal. Could one survive without the other?

theliberalliberal's picture

All the gold exported from Fort Knox is off balance sheet

Seasmoke's picture

No worries. Dick Chain told us all deficits don't matter.

new game's picture

what is that sucking sound i hear? thx oligarchs...

Pollygotacracker's picture

We import losers from failed countries. And, then we import goods we could be producing here at home. What could go wrong?

Pollygotacracker's picture

We import losers from failed countries. And, then we import goods we could be producing here at home. What could go wrong?

gespiri's picture

Are they gonna blame this on the Russians or on Trump?

LawsofPhysics's picture

The exchange of REAL goods and services is the only thing that prevents world war.

Time to execute all the useless fucking paper-pushing middlemen!!!

If we don't do this soon, war it shall be.

tick tock motherfuckers!!!

angry_dad's picture

What did Obama do about this???  BUPKUS

No other president has ever been as incompetent as Obama

Pick any topic and marvel at his debacle

Justin Case's picture

The Con supporters in Canada are condeming Trudeau for a low CDN dollar, like that's a bad thing. Every country wants an edge to keep a trade surplus, not a deficit. Trump knows this as well.

hotrod's picture

It appears the usa trade deficit is A lot lower since 2009 than during 2004-07.  Looks like we were importing a heck of a lot more back then.  Guess that says something about our economy.  I have always said that about 20% of our econonmy is missing since 2008 and I think this chart substantiates that. 

Sky flyer's picture

Bullish. This to is bullish. Every fucking thing there is, is bullish. Without even reading a doom ZH article I know it will be bullish. See now, isn't that easy?