A notable increase in exports combined with a drop in imports combined to shrink the U.S. trade deficit by much more than expected in the month of June, according to figures released Thursday by the Commerce Department.
Commerce Department figures for June showed a total level of U.S. exports of $185 billion and a total level of U.S. imports of $227.9 billion, leading to a deficit of $42.9 billion.
The deficit marks a 10.7 percent drop from the revised May level of $48 billion, which was downwardly revised from the $48.7 billion initially reported.
While most economists had expected the deficit to narrow, most had predicted a far smaller drop to $47.5 billion.
June exports, up $1.7 billion or 0.9 percent, set a new record in raw dollar terms, eclipsing the previous record set earlier this year, according to Commerce Department figures.
Also contributing to the narrower deficit was a $3.5 billion, or 1.5 percent, decline in the value of imports for June.
The June U.S. deficit in the import and export of goods decreased by $5.4 billion to $57.5 billion, while the services surplus also fell slightly, decreasing by $300 million to $14.6 billion.
Increased exports of consumer goods, automotive vehicles, parts and engines and industrial supplies contributed to the overall June increase in U.S. exports, while exports of foods, feeds and beverages fell somewhat.
The May to June decrease in imports came as a result of a drop in imported industrial supplies, capital goods and consumer goods. Those decreases offset increased imports in the automotive sector.
Overall June exports of goods, at $131.4 billion, marked a new record in raw dollar terms, with consumer goods and automotive exports also setting new records. Imports of automotive vehicles, parts and engines also set a new record in raw dollar terms.
The June trade figures showed the U.S. continuing to run trade surpluses with Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore and Egypt, though the levels of those surpluses decreased for all except Egypt.
The U.S. Trade Deficit with China continued to widen in June, rising to $27.4 billion from the $26 billion recorded in May.
And while the U.S. continued to run trade deficits with OPEC and the European Union along with others including Japan, Mexico, Canada and Korea, the level of those trade deficits decreased somewhat.
Likely contributing to the shrinking deficit with OPEC nations, the June petroleum deficit dropped to $22.5 billion, the lowest level since November 2010 - likely influenced by the largest drop in the average price per barrel of crude oil since January 2009.
The $1.5 billion U.S. trade deficit with Canada reflected the lowest since October 2010.
In the advanced technology sector, the U.S. recorded exports of $26.5 billion and imports of $33.7 billion, resulting in a deficit of $7.2 billion.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org