Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- International Trade
In January, the U.S. trade deficit expanded by $2.2 billion to −$52.6 billion, up from December’s revised −$50.4 billion (−$48.8 billion, previously). January’s −$52.6 billion deficit came in higher than consensus forecasts, which predicted a −$49.0 billion deficit. Additionally, January’s deficit is the largest level since October 2008. Both imports and exports saw major gains, with imports jumping $4.7 billion to a record high of $233.4 billion and exports adding $2.6 billion to total $180.8 billion. Although the increase in trade activity is a positive sign for U.S. consumption and production, if import growth continues to outpace export growth in the coming months, the trade deficit could then negatively impact GDP in the first quarter of 2012. On a year-over-year basis, imports grew by 8.3 percent, a deceleration from double digits gains seen throughout all of 2010 and 2011. Exports advanced 7.7 percent, down remarkably from the fourth quarter average of 10.4 percent yearly gains.