The July Trade Release

Trade deficit grows. US-China goods trade deficit is now growing too.

Figure 1: US Trade balance, balance of payments basis, billions $, SAAR (blue). Gray denotes possible NBER recession period. Source: BuCensus/BEA via FRED and author’s calculations.

The annualized trade deficit in 2017M01 was $515 billion; it was $763 in July.

Figure 2: US-China Goods trade balance, billions $, s.a., annualized (blue). Seasonal adjustment using multiplicative seasonal dummies. Gray denotes possible NBER recession period. Source: BuCensus/BEA via FRED and author’s calculations.

While the US-China goods balance has improved since 2017M01, it’s not because exports to China have increased. US exports are $104 billion over the 12 months ending July; they were $117 billion in the 12 months ending January 2017.

For those who expected Trump’s Phase 1 deal to herald a new era of exports, well see Chad Bown’s tabulation. It’s surprising only in that it failed even more pathetically than I expected.