Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



U.S. Trade Deficit Reaches 4-Year Low

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

The total deficit decreased 12.5%, to $34.3 billion, surpassing analyst expectations of a relatively steady $39.9 billion. This is the smallest deficit reading since October 2009.

Deficits improve in two ways: (1) exports increase more than imports, or (2) imports decrease more than exports. The first scenario is generally favored over the second, as it more directly shows signs of an internally strengthening economy. November's results show the best possible scenario, where exports increased 0.9% to $194.8 billion as imports shrank 1.5% to $229.1 billion. 


The services sector added on $200 million to reach a $19.7 billion surplus, while the goods deficit knocked $4.9 billion off to hit $53.9 billion. Industrial supplies provided the main push for improvement, with exports up $0.7 billion as imports dropped $4.3 billion.

Exports were aided by a 5.6% rise in petroleum exports while a decrease in demand for foreign oil offset a record level of imported autos.

Through 11 months of 2013, the trade deficit is 12.3% lower than the same period in 2012. Exports have strengthened, while imports are slightly lower.

The U.S. deficit with China fell 6.7% in November from October to $26.9 billion. U.S. exports to China hit a record. The U.S. deficit with China, the largest with any country, is still on track to set another record this year.

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

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2785596, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/5/2015 10:43:10 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Justin Loiseau

Energy and Macroeconomic Specialist keeping investors up to date with macro news, utilities, and good companies doing good things.

Today's Market

updated 13 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,102.38 -272.38 -1.66%
S&P 500 1,921.22 -29.91 -1.53%
NASD 4,683.92 -49.58 -1.05%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes