REAL TRADE BALANCE


The real trade deficit collapsed in June — plunging from -$45,992 million to -$54,136 billion ( 2005 $). I have not done the calculation, but this will generate a significant downward revision of the second quarter real GDP report. Remember, BEA does not have this data when they do the first GDP report.

The plunge was driven by a 5.2% jump in real nonpetroleum imports although petroleum imports also rose 1.9%. Since the May 2009 bottom, real nonpetroleum imports have risen some 31.9%. Real petroleum imports are up 8.9% over the same period. Real exports fell 1.6% and as the charts makes obvious they have been flat in recent months — they are actually down 1.5% from their March 2010 peak. This should force forecasters to significantly revise their growth forecast down as what looked like a strong rebound in exports late last year now appears to be faltering.



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