Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- International Trade
In December, the U.S. trade deficit expanded by $1.7 billion to −$48.8 billion, up from November’s revised −$47.1 billion (−$47.8 billion, previously). December’s −$48.8 billion marks the largest deficit since June 2011. Both imports and exports increased for the month of December with imports climbing $3.0 billion to $227.6 billion ($224.6 billion, previously) and exports ticking up $1.2 billion to $178.8 billion ($177.5 billion, previously). Reversing the fourth quarter trend of export contraction, December’s uptick in exports reduces the likelihood of trade negatively impacting GDP calculations in the coming quarter. Exports, however, will need to maintain growth in the coming months in order for trade to positively impact GDP. On a year-over-year basis, imports continue to post double-digit gains, increasing 11.3 percent. December’s pace is nonetheless down slightly from November’s 12.7 percent yearly gain. Exports grew 9 percent on yearly basis, also a slight deceleration from November’s 10.3 percent year-over-year growth. For 2011, the trade deficit widened a total of $58.0 billion to −$558 billion, expanding from 2010’s −$500 billion deficit.