Trade Balance Deficit Grows in August 2010

The trade balance deficit grew in August 2010.  The headlines from the BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis) press release:

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that total August exports of $153.9 billion and imports of $200.2 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $46.3 billion, up from $42.6 billion in July, revised August exports were $0.3 billion more than July exports of $153.5 billion. August imports were $4.1 billion more than July imports of $196.1 billion.

The good news is that the trade balance normally contracts during economic contractions – more or less confirming that the economy was still growing in August.  Here is the headlined analysis of the changes in exports:

The July to August change in exports of goods reflected decreases in capital goods ($1.5 billion) and other goods ($0.6 billion). Increases occurred in foods, feeds, and beverages ($1.2 billion); industrial supplies and materials ($0.6 billion);  and automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($0.1 billion).  Consumer goods were virtually unchanged.


No matter how we slice it in 2010,  imports are growing at approximately double the rate of exports.  The government’s analysis of the increase in August.

The July to August increase in imports of goods reflected increases in consumer goods ($1.4 billion); capital goods ($0.9 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($0.7 billion); other goods ($0.4 billion); industrial supplies and materials ($0.2 billion); and foods, feeds, and beverages ($0.1 billion).

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