U.S. and Canadian Trade Figures

March 10, 2011

The U.S. and Canadian trade balances, which oftentimes move in opposite directions on a month to month basis, each worsened in January.  Each country experience very strong import expansion.

The U.S. goods and services deficit of USD 46.341 billion was the largest since last June, 15.1% wider than December’s imbalance and 33.8% greater than the deficit in January 2010.  The average trade shortfall in 2010 was $41.3 billion, and that was 32.2% above the 2009 mean.  Exports increased 2.7% on month in January, but imports shot up 5.2%.  For merchandise goods only, the deficit was almost $60 billion ($59.754 billion to be exact).  The bilateral deficit with China widened to $23.3 billion in January from $20.7 billion, but Chinese February trade figures out today, which revealed a global $7.3 billion deficit, point to a smaller U.S. deficit in next month’s release.  The U.S. census-basis deficit with OPEC was $9.9 billion in January after $8.3 billion in December and $7.2 billion in January of 2010, and U.S. trade with non-EU countries in Europe worsened by $1.6 billion in the latest month.

The Canadian trade surplus imploded from CAD 1.713 billion in December to CAD 0.116 billion in January.  The monthly rise in imported energy (mostly oil) soared 13.8%, while exported energy (mostly natural gas) went up just 2.5%.  Non-energy exports firmed just 0.3% on month, while non-energy imports climbed 4.4%.  Exports of machinery and equipment, for instance, rose 1.8%, while exports of such decreased 8.9% on month.  Canadian net exports for the past couple of years has suffered as a result of excessive Canadian dollar depreciation and relatively weak productivity growth.

Copyright Larry Greenberg 2011.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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