Record High Trade Deficit

Our trade deficit was at another record high in March, 5.6% higher than in February, as both our imports and exports increased, but our imports increased by more.

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The Commerce Department’s report on our international trade in goods and services for March indicated that our seasonally adjusted goods and services trade deficit rose by $3.9 billion to $74.4 billion in March, from a February deficit that was revised from the originally reported record $71.1 billion to $70.5 billion. In rounded totals, the value of our March exports rose by $12.4 billion to $200.0 billion on a $11.7 billion increase to $142.9 billion in our exports of goods and a $0.8 billion increase to $57.1 billion in our exports of services, while our imports rose by $16.4 billion to $274.5 billion on a $15.3 billion increase to $234.4 billion in our imports of goods and a $1.1 billion increase to $40.0 billion in our imports of services. Export prices averaged 2.1% higher in March, which means the change in our real exports was less than than the nominal increase by that percentage, while import prices were 1.2% higher, meaning that our real imports were likewise smaller than than their nominal value by that percentage…

Our March exports of goods were higher largely due to greater exports of industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, and consumer goods… referencing the Full Release and Tables for March (pdf), in Exhibit 7 we find that our exports of industrial supplies and materials rose by $5,173 million to $51,494 million on a $3,382 million increase in our exports of nonmonetary gold, an $876 million increase in our exports of crude oil, a $571 million increase in our exports of precious metals other than gold, a $494 million increase in our exports of petroleum products other than fuel oil, and a $439 million increase in our exports of natural gas liquids, which were partially offset by a $1,711 million decrease in our exports of natural gas, while our exports of capital goods rose by $2,919 million to $42,014 million, led by a $409 million increase in our exports of semiconductors, a $365 million increase in our exports of electric apparatuses, and a $269 million increase in our exports of medical equipment…in addition, our exports of consumer goods rose by $2.005 million to $17,100 million on a $410 million increase in our exports of artwork, antiques, and other collectibles, a $389 million increase in our exports of gem diamonds and a $339 million increase in our exports of pharmaceuticals…meanwhile, our exports of automotive vehicles, parts, and engines rose by $859 million to $12,758 million on a $303 million increase in our exports of passenger cars, and a $281 million increase in our exports of vehicle parts and accessories other than engines, chassis and tires, and our exports of foods, feeds and beverages rose by a net of $63 million to $13,302 million even as our exports of soybeans fell by $574 million as our exports of corn rose by $267 million, while our exports of other goods not categorized by end use rose by $659 million to $5,753 million….

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