Last Update: 04-Jun-13 08:54 ET
- The U.S. trade deficit widened to $40.3 bln in April from a downwardly revised $37.1 bln in March. The Briefing.com consensus expected the trade deficit to increase to $41.0 bln.
- The goods deficit rose by $3.2 bln to $58.6 bln and the services surplus was nearly unchanged at $18.3 bln.
- Exports increased by $2.2 bln from $185.2 bln in March to $187.4 bln in April. That was the most exports since December 2012. Unfortunately, the gains in exports may not be sustainable. Exports of jewelry, gem diamonds, and artwork accounted for $1.7 bln of the April export gain. Industrial supplies and materials, down $0.9 bln, took a large hit and may be an early signal to a possible slowdown in global growth.
- Imports increased by $5.4 bln from $222.3 bln in March to $227.7 bln in April. In contrast to the export data, the import data show a possible strengthening in the U.S. economy. A large portion of the growth in imports was the result of strong demand for capital goods ($1.0 bln) and automotive vehicles and parts ($1.3 bln).
- The introduction of the new Samsung Galaxy cell phone in April proved that Apple (APPL) is not the only company that can move the needle on the trade deficit. Imports of cellphones jumped by more than $0.8 bln on demand for the new product.
- The petroleum trade deficit fell from $20.4 bln in March to $19.7 bln in April, due to a combination of falling prices and slightly softer demand. That was the smallest petroleum deficit since December 2012.
- Stronger dollar, weakness in Europe, and a slowdown in Asia will all lead to softer export growth in the near term.