Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Industryweek 8208 Shipping2

US Trade Gap Widens to Highest Level Since 2012

Feb. 5, 2015
Overall in December, imports, excluding petroleum products, rose 2.2% to $241.4 billion. Exports fell 0.8% to $194.9 billion.

The trade deficit in the U.S. took a big leap in December, hitting its highest level in more than two years.

The Commerce Department report shows a hike of 17.1% to $46.6 billion. The percentage is the biggest jump since July of 2009.

That number could be revised down on lower energy costs, but according to Reuters, is still way off from analysts’ forecasts.

Overall in December, imports, excluding petroleum products, rose 2.2% to $241.4 billion. Exports fell 0.8% to $194.9 billion

One area making gains in exports is energy. Exports of petroleum products added $8.1 billion while imports fell by $35.6 billion. API Chief Economist John Felmy says the sector is transforming the trade balance:

“We’re importing less oil than at any time in nearly 30 years, consumers are saving billions on energy, and tens of thousands of U.S. workers have jobs producing petroleum and petroleum products for export. Growth in the U.S. oil and natural gas industry served as the central pillar of U.S. strength in the international market last year, helping to offset categories of trade where U.S. businesses lost ground.“

A breakdown of some key markets shows the monthly U.S. goods deficit with China grew in December to $30.4 billion, up from $29.9 billion in November.

In trade with Japan, the U.S. goods deficit rose in December to $5.7 billion, up from $5.5 billion in November.

Exports also dipped slightly to Canada and Mexico.

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Global Supply Chain Readiness Report: The Pandemic and Beyond

Sept. 23, 2022
Jabil and IndustryWeek look into how manufacturers are responding to supply chain woes.

Empowering the Modern Workforce: The Power of Connected Worker Technologies

March 1, 2024
Explore real-world strategies to boost worker safety, collaboration, training, and productivity in manufacturing. Emphasizing Industry 4.0, we'll discuss digitalization and automation...

How Manufacturers Can Optimize Operations with Weather Intelligence

Nov. 2, 2023
The bad news? Severe weather has emerged as one of the biggest threats to continuity and safety in manufacturing. The good news? The intelligence solutions that build weather ...

How Organizations Connect and Engage with Frontline Workers

June 14, 2023
Nearly 80% of the 2.7 billion workers across manufacturing, construction, healthcare, transportation, agriculture, hospitality, and education are frontline. Learn best practices...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!