Last Update: 03-Jul-13 08:58 ET
Trade Balance Widens on Demand for Oil and Cell Phones
The U.S. trade deficit widened to $45.0 bln in May from an upwardly revised $40.1 bln (from $40.3 bln) in April. That was the largest deficit since November 2012. The Briefing.com consensus expected the trade deficit to increase to $40.8 bln. The goods deficit rose to $63.4 bln in May from $58.4 bln while the services surplus increased to $18.4 bln from $18.3 bln. May exports fell by $0.5 bln from $187.6 bln in April to $187.0 bln. As expected, exports of jewelry, gem diamonds, and artwork, which accounted for most of the increase in exports in April, gave back nearly its entire April gain in May falling by $1.3 bln. Exports of nonmonetary gold dropped by $1.1 bln.
These declines offset a $1.4 bln increase in civilian aircraft exports and a $0.3 bln increase in automotive sales. May imports increased by $4.4 bln to $232.1 bln from $227.7 bln in April. That was the most imports since March 2012. A large portion of the gain was the result of stronger demand for petroleum-based products. Imports of these goods increased by $1.3 bln to $18.9 bln. Imports of cell phones and other household goods increased by $1.9 bln after adding nearly $1.0 bln in imports in April. Auto imports (+$0.8 bln) and capital goods (+$0.3 bln) also added to the import gain. After four consecutive months of declines, the petroleum deficit increased by $1.1 bln in May to $20.8 bln. That is the largest deficit since February.
The U.S. trade deficit widened to $45.0 bln in May from an upwardly revised $40.1 bln (from $40.3 bln) in April. That was the largest deficit since