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US Trade Deficit rose well above expectations

Friday, January 11, 2008 (Barcelona) – Trade deficit rose to the level of 63.12 billion dollars in November from the upwardly revised 57.77 billion posted in October, according to the latest report by the Commerce Department.

The market expectations were a lower reading of 59.75 billion deficit. October's deficit was upwardly revised from the 57.82 billion dollars originally posted.

Exports rose by 0.4% in November to the level of 142.31 billion dollars from the 141.68 billion seen in October. On the other hand, imports increased by 3% reaching the 205.43 billion dollars from the 199.45 billion dollars posted in October. According to Ian Shepherdson, Chief U.S. Economist at High Frequency Economics, rising oil prices are to blame, in a big part, for the rise in imports: “Some $4.5B of the $5.4B jump in the deficit was due to surging oil imports, reflecting higher prices, and a drop in the aircraft surplus. The trend in the latter is very strong so this is likely temporary. Ex-oil and aircraft, goods exports dipped a trivial 0.1%”

The value of energy imports rose 31.95 billion dollars from the 30.08 billion in October. Oil imports reached the 24.17 billion dollars in November, up from the 22.92 billion seen the previous month.

In December, import prices were unchanged following the upwardly revised 3.3% increase posted in November. The initial estimation for the monthly increase was 2.7%. On the year, import prices rose by 10.9% in December following the upwardly revised 12.1% increase seen in November.

With these numbers, Ina Shephersdson advances that the contribution of trade in Q4 growths could be minimal: "Based on these numbers and our December forecasts, we think trade will make a minimal contribution to Q4 growth, which looks likely to be in 1.5-to-2% range."

Posted by MOHAMED SAID at 6:46 AM  


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