July Trade Deficit Comes In Less Than Expected As Global Trade Slows Down

America's July trade deficit came in slightly better than expected, printing at $42 billion, compared to expectations of $44.4 billion, on exports of $183.3 billion and imports of $225.3 billion, which was to be expected in light of the ongoing drop in Chinese net trade surplus. After all global trade is a zero sum game. The better than expected number was an increase from the revised July deficit of -$41.9 billion, revised lower from $42.9 billion in June. And while GDP beancounter calculations will generate slightly higher Q3 GDP forecasts as a result of the number and revision, the reason for the "improvement" is an ongoing contraction in global trade, which is anything but favorable for the world's economies for which any diversion from a status quo M.O. means longer-term pain.

From the report:

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that total July exports of $183.3 billion and imports of $225.3 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $42.0 billion, up from $41.9 billion in June, revised. July exports were $1.9 billion less than June exports of $185.2 billion. July imports were $1.8 billion less than June imports of $227.1 billion.


In July, the goods deficit decreased $0.2 billion from June to $57.3 billion, and the services surplus decreased $0.3 billion from June to $15.3 billion.  Exports of goods decreased $1.9 billion to $130.8 billion, and imports of goods decreased $2.1 billion to $188.1 billion. Exports of services were virtually unchanged at $52.5 billion, and imports of services increased $0.3 billion to $37.2 billion.


The goods and services deficit decreased $3.6 billion from July 2011 to July 2012. Exports were up $4.9 billion, or 2.8 percent, and imports were up $1.4 billion, or 0.6 percent.

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