Last Update: 06-Mar-19 09:19 ET
- For December, the trade deficit widened to $59.8 billion (Briefing.com consensus -$57.8 billion) from a downwardly revised $50.3 billion (from -$49.3 billion) in November.
- The December deficit is the widest since October 2008 when the world was in the throes of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
- The widening deficit was a byproduct of exports being $3.9 billion less than November exports and imports being $5.5 billion more than November imports.
- Exports of industrial supplies and materials decreased $2.1 billion. Capital goods exports decreased $1.7 billion.
- Imports of capital goods were up $2.7 billion while imports of consumer goods jumped by $2.4 billion.
- The real trade deficit surged to $91.6 billion in December from $81.6 billion in November. That left the fourth quarter average of -$87.4 billion 1.2% above the third quarter average of -$86.4 billion.
- The goods deficit with China increased $3.2 billion in December to $38.7 billion; meanwhile, for all of 2018, the goods deficit with China increased $43.6 billion to $419.2 billion.
- Overall, the U.S. goods and services deficit was $621.0 billion in 2018, up $68.8 billion from $552.3 billion in 2017.
- The key takeaway from the report is that it will fuel the Trump Administration's fire to correct the trade imbalance with assertive policy actions.