By MacKenzie C. Babb
Washington — The U.S. trade deficit in June shrank a significant 10.7 percent from May to $42.9 billion, thanks to continued growth in exports, according to a new Commerce Department report.
“Today’s data shows that U.S. exports in June posted their highest level on record for the second time this year, despite challenging economic conditions,” Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank said following the report’s August 9 release by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. “We also remain on track toward exceeding last year’s export total of $2.1 trillion,” she added.
Exports in June reached $185 billion as imports declined 1.5 percent from May to $227.9 billion, resulting in the lowered deficit that exceeded economists’ expectations.
Goods exports for the month hit $132.8 billion, the highest level on record. The increase reflected a rise in exports of consumer goods; automotive vehicles, parts and engines; industrial supplies and materials; other goods; and capital goods. A decrease occurred in foods, feeds and beverages.
Imports of goods in June decreased from May to $190.3 billion, reflecting drops in industrial supplies and materials; capital goods; consumer goods; and foods, feeds and beverages. Increases occurred in automotive vehicles, parts and engines.
Services exports decreased $0.2 billion from May to June, accounted for largely by decreases in business, professional and technical services; insurance and financial services; and freight and port services.
Imports of services increased from May by $0.1 billion, mostly reflecting an increase in passenger fares.
Blank said that though much work remains, the United States “continues to make historic progress” toward achieving President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.
She said that since the National Export Initiative was announced in 2009, the United States has seen a significant increase in exports that has helped to create 4.5 million jobs.
The June figures show surpluses with Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore and Egypt. Deficits were recorded with China, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, Germany, Ireland, Canada, Nigeria, Taiwan, South Korea and Venezuela.