December Trade Deficit At $66.6B, 3.5% Less Than November

The U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, also known as the FT-900, is published monthly by the Bureau of Economic Analysis with data going back to 1992. The monthly reports include revisions that go back several months. This report details U.S. exports and imports of goods and services.

Here is an excerpt from the latest report:

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $66.6 billion in December, down $2.4 billion from $69.0 billion in November, revised.

Exports and imports in December 2020 reflect both the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued economic recovery from the sharp declines earlier in the year. The full economic effects of the pandemic cannot be quantified in the trade statistics because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified. The Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis continue to monitor data quality and have determined estimates in this release meet publication standards. For more information, see the frequently asked questions on goods from the Census Bureau and on services from BEA.

Today's headline number of -66.61B was more negative than the forecast of -65.70B.

Here is a snapshot that gives a better sense of the extreme volatility of this indicator.

We will publish the next Trade Balance report on March 5.

Disclosure: None.

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