USA Exports Highest Ever

October 2010 trade data continued to show a narrowing trade surplus.  The U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report headlined:

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that total October exports of $158.7 billion and imports of $197.4 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $38.7 billion, down from $44.6 billion in September, revised. October exports were $4.9 billion more than September exports of $153.8 billion. October imports were $0.9 billion less than September imports of $198.4 billion.

In October, the goods deficit decreased $5.7 billion from September to $51.4 billion, and the services surplus increased $0.2 billion to $12.7 billion. Exports of goods increased $4.5 billion to $112.3 billion, and imports of goods decreased $1.2 billion to $163.7 billion. Exports of services increased $0.4 billion to $46.4 billion, and imports of services increased $0.2 billion to $33.7 billion.

The goods and services deficit increased $6.4 billion from October 2009 to October 2010. Exports were up $20.6 billion, or 14.9 percent, and imports were up $27.0 billion, or 15.9
percent.

Econintersect evaluates the data based on unadjusted data.  This data confirms that the trade balance deficit has been improving for the last two months, and confirms growth in exports.  Exports, however, likely are nearly trending flat MoM when you recognize that a signifcant increase from September to October is normal.

The raw data says this was the best October for exports EVER – and also the best month for exports ever.  Somehow the seasonal adjustment methodology adjusted away this little fact.

The reason the trade balance shrunk is because exports were massively strong.  They were driven by every category and almost to every country.   And imports did improve MoM, but a MoM increase is normal between September and October.  Overall, Econintersect would have called imports flat.

4 replies on “USA Exports Highest Ever”

  1. Canada is America’s largest trading partner, our trade is the largest 2 way trade in the world, but the relationship is not symmetrical. It is much more important to Canada than it is to the US. Over 70% of ALL Cdn exports are to the US, and trade with the US makes up 30% of the entire Cdn economy. Over the past 40 years Canada has enjoyed a balanced or slightly positive trade with the US (which is one reason Canadians are able to buy southern US retirement homes, a way of spending the excess US dollars), but over the past few months Canada’s trade surplus has become a deficit of about $2 billion. This is in part due to Cdn industry taking advantage of cheap loans and a high loonie to retool, buying the updated machinery from US manufacturers of precision and heavy equipment, which is contributing to the recent increase in US manufacturing.

    Cdns are also importing used American machinery for the same reasons. My industrial neighbor across our fence, for e.g., is in the construction equipment business and he has been buying virtually all of his used equipment from all over the US then reselling it in Canada (mostly here in Alberta) and around the world. One day when I was in his office a Moroccan guy came in wanting to buy good used equipment to sell into the North African and Arabian markets. A high loonie and depressed US construction industry makes American equipment historically cheap in Canada, and apparently around the world, which is making my neighbor rich, but is contributing to Canada’s trade deficit with the US.

    So if anyone still claims that America’s monetary policy, devaluing the US dollar, is “impotent”, they have not been paying attention to its effects on American trade flows.

  2. Derryl,
    feel free to add context you think is important to my economic release articles. there are hundreds of elements in each release which deserves a commentary on their own. Your point on equipment is very interesting as USA exports rose strongly, while imports fell in this category.

  3. Steve,
    If there’s one thing you don’t need to encourage me on it’s to share any information I have. I feel like I should be the guy on the receiving end of the Denis Leary skit, “Shut up and let somebody else talk!” I’m kind of an information junkie so I read all the time and keep my eyes open. Now that we have the internet information flows instantly, and I’m happy to add my two bits wherever I see it ‘fits’. I’ve certainly been learning at an accelerated pace since I discovered blogging after the 2008 crash, and it’s because people are sharing the information they have.

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