U.S. Trade Deficit Hits 4-Year Low

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The U.S. international trade deficit fell to a four-year-low in June, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens as PDF) released today.

After expanding slightly in May to a revised $44.1 billion, analysts had expected a minor drop in the deficit to $43.0 billion. But June's report clocked in at just $34.2 billion, surprising analysts as exports expanded and imports fell.

Exports rose 2.2% to $191.2 billion in June. Imports dropped 2.5% to $225.4 billion. Oil imports declined to the lowest level in more than two years.

US Trade Deficit Chart

US Trade Deficit data by YCharts.

Exports' $4.1 billion increase,  to $191.2 billion, came mostly from boosts in industrial supplies and materials (+$1.5 billion), capital goods (+$1.5 billion), and consumer goods (+$1.0 billion).

For the same period, imports fell $5.8 billion, to $225.4 billion, due primarily to drops in industrial supplies and materials (-$2.5 billion), consumer goods (-$1.6 billion), and "other goods" (-$1.2 billion).

Services trade remained virtually unchanged, with exports up $0.1 billion while imports stayed steady.

For June, U.S. exports to the 27-nation European Union rose 1.5%, helping shrink the deficit with the region to $7.1 billion.

The deficit with China fell 4.3% percent to $26.6 billion. Through the first six months of this year, the imbalance with China is running 1.9% above the same period a year ago.

America's deficit with Japan rose 2.2% to $5.5 billion in June. The imbalance with Canada dropped 13.7% to $1.6 billion. The deficit with Mexico fell 9.6% to $4.8 billion in June.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.


The article U.S. Trade Deficit Hits 4-Year Low originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFJLo. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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