Trade Deficit Widens, Exports Weak: Economists Miss the Mark

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Published : May 25th, 2017
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Category : Opinions and Analysis

The Census Bureau reports the International Trade Deficit in Goods widened by $2.5 billion (3.8 percent), with exports down and imports up.

This will subtract from second-quarter GDP estimates.

Advance International Trade in Goods

The international trade deficit was $67.6 billion in April, up $2.5 billion from $65.1 billion in March. Exports of goods for April were $125.9 billion, $1.1 billion less than March exports. Imports of goods for April were $193.4 billion, $1.4 billion more than March imports.

Economists Miss the Mark

Econoday economists expected the trade deficit to narrow to $64.6 billion in a range of $65.5 billion to $62.0 billion.

Not only did economists miss the mark with the deficit larger than the biggest estimate, the Cenmsus Bureau revised the deficit for April slightly higher, from $64.8 billion to $65.1 billion.

A key early indication on the strength of second-quarter GDP is not favorable as the nation’s goods deficit widened $2.5 billion in April to $67.6 billion. Exports of goods continue to show weakness, down 0.9 percent in the month to $125.9 billion that show sharp declines for vehicles and consumer goods. Imports of goods, which are a subtraction in the national accounts, rose 0.7 percent in the month to $193.4 billion with consumer goods and agriculture both rising.

The much ballyhooed second quarter recovevery is off to a negative start.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. He writes a global economics blog which has commentary 5-7 times a week. He also writes for the Daily Reckoning, Whiskey & Gunpowder, and has over 80 magazine and book cover credits. Visit
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