Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Petroleum's Impact on the Trade Deficit

Reuters details:

Stronger U.S. demand boosted imports 1.7 percent during the month to $182.9 billion. Exports edged only 0.2 percent higher to $143.2 billion, but that was still the best showing since the depths of the global financial crisis in October 2008. Analysts had expected the trade deficit to widen in February to around $38.5 billion. The Commerce Department lowered its estimate of January's gap slightly to $37.0 billion.

U.S. imports of consumer goods such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, toys and clothing and foreign services such as travel were the highest since October 2008. Imports of industrial supplies and materials were the highest since November 2008.

While U.S. imports of crude oil was relatively stagnant in February (the average price of crude trended lower in February, but has since rebounded), continuing my higher price of oil on economic growth thought, the below chart shows the impact of the rising price of oil on the nation's trade balance.

While we have collectively import 2% less petroleum as a percent of total imports from a year back, we pay 6% more as a percent of total imports.

Source: Census

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