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The Goods and Services Deficit Increased to $59.8 billion in December 2018

Wed Mar 06 2019

Rachel Butler

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The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $59.8 billion in December, up $9.5 billion from $50.3 billion in November, revised.

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Exports, Imports, and Balance (Exhibit 1)

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December exports were $205.1 billion, $3.9 billion less than November exports. December imports were $264.9 billion, $5.5 billion more than November imports.

The December increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $9.0 billion to $81.5 billion and a decrease in the services surplus of $0.5 billion to $21.8 billion.

For 2018, the goods and services deficit increased $68.8 billion, or 12.5 percent, from 2017. Exports increased $148.9 billion or 6.3 percent. Imports increased $217.7 billion or 7.5 percent.

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Annual Summary for 2018

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or 2018, the goods and services deficit was $621.0 billion, up $68.8 billion from $552.3 billion in 2017. Exports were $2,500.0 billion in 2018, up $148.9 billion from 2017. Imports were $3,121.0 billion, up $217.7 billion from 2017.

The 2018 increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $83.8 billion, or 10.4 percent, to $891.3 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $15.0 billion, or 5.9 percent, to $270.2 billion.

As a percentage of U.S. gross domestic product, the goods and services deficit was 3.0 percent in 2018, up from 2.8 percent in 2017.

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Exports (Exhibits 3, 6, and 7)

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Exports of goods increased $118.5 billion to $1,671.8 billion in 2018.

Exports of goods on a Census basis increased $117.8 billion.

  • Industrial supplies and materials increased $74.2 billion.
    • Crude oil increased $24.6 billion.
    • Other petroleum products increased $14.4 billion.
  • Capital goods increased $28.7 billion.
    • Civilian aircraft engines increased $7.9 billion.
    • Other industrial machines increased $2.9 billion.
    • Computer accessories increased $2.5 billion.

Exports of services increased $30.4 billion to $828.1 billion in 2018.

  • Other business services, which includes research and development services; professional and management services; and technical, trade-related, and other services, increased $8.5 billion.
  • Financial services increased $4.6 billion.

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Imports (Exhibits 4, 6, and 8)

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Imports of goods increased $202.2 billion to $2,563.1 billion in 2018.

Imports of goods on a Census basis increased $200.8 billion.

  • Industrial supplies and materials increased $68.4 billion.
    • Crude oil increased $24.6 billion.
  • Capital goods increased $52.7 billion.
    • Computers increased $8.7 billion.
    • Electric apparatus increased $5.4 billion.
    • Computer accessories increased $5.4 billion.
    • Other industrial machines increased $5.1 billion.
  • Consumer goods increased $46.1 billion.
    • Pharmaceutical preparations increased $23.7 billion.

Imports of services increased $15.4 billion to $557.9 billion in 2018.

  • Travel (for all purposes including education) increased $10.1 billion.
  • Other business services increased $7.0 billion.
  • Transport increased $6.5 billion.
  • Insurance services decreased $13.0 billion.

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Goods by Selected Countries and Areas - Census Basis (14 and 14a)

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The 2018 figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with South and Central America ($41.5), Hong Kong ($31.1), Netherlands ($24.8), Australia ($15.2), and Belgium ($14.2). Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China ($419.2), European Union ($169.3), Mexico ($81.5), Germany ($68.3), Japan ($67.6), Ireland ($46.8), Italy ($31.6), Malaysia ($26.5), India ($21.3), OPEC ($21.2), Canada ($19.8), Thailand ($19.3), Switzerland ($18.9), South Korea ($17.9), France ($16.2), Taiwan ($15.5), Russia ($14.1), Indonesia ($12.6), and Saudi Arabia ($10.5).

  • The deficit with China increased $43.6 billion to $419.2 billion in 2018. Exports decreased $9.6 billion to $120.3 billion and imports increased $34.0 billion to $539.5 billion.
  • The deficit with the European Union increased $17.9 billion to $169.3 billion in 2018. Exports increased $35.4 billion to $318.6 billion and imports increased $53.3 billion to $487.9 billion.
  • The surplus with South and Central America increased $7.3 billion to $41.5 billion in 2018. Exports increased $13.6 billion to $163.8 billion and imports increased $6.3 billion to $122.3 billion.

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