Home Logon FTA Investment Managers Blog Subscribe About Us Contact Us

Search by Ticker, Keyword or CUSIP       

Blog Home
   Brian Wesbury
Chief Economist
X •  LinkedIn
   Bob Stein
Deputy Chief Economist
X •  LinkedIn
  The Trade Deficit in Goods and Services Came in at $46.6 Billion in December
Posted Under: Data Watch • Trade
Supporting Image for Blog Post

Implications: Faster US growth paired with slower global growth outside the US is having an effect on our trade balance with the rest of the world. The trade deficit increased to the highest level in two years as imports rose strongly, while exports declined. The slowdown in exports was due to a few factors. First, a slowdown in economic growth abroad. Second, a stronger US dollar, which makes our exports more expensive. And third, ongoing labor disputes at west coast ports. The good news is that the west coast dock strike seems to be nearing a conclusion. Once the slowdown/strike is over, the exports held back by the strike should resume. Overall imports increased by $5.3 billion to $241.4 billion, the highest on record, a testament to both better US growth and the same stronger dollar that is impeding exports. A stronger dollar should continue to put upward pressure on imports as American consumers and businesses use their increased purchasing power to spend on overseas goods and services. As a result of today's numbers, it looks like net exports subtracted about 1.3 percentage points from real GDP growth in Q4, more than the original estimate of 1.0 percentage point. This suggests real GDP grew at a 2.3% annual rate in Q4, not the 2.6% pace the government reported last week. In other news this morning, new claims for unemployment insurance rose 11,000 last week to 278,000. The four week average is now down to 293,000. Continuing claims for regular state benefits increased 6,000 to 2.40 million. Looks like we're set up for another month of solid job growth in January.

Click here for PDF version
Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2015 @ 12:27 PM • Post Link Print this post Printer Friendly

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
The information presented is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific person. By providing this information, First Trust is not undertaking to give advice in any fiduciary capacity within the meaning of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or any other regulatory framework. Financial professionals are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
Follow First Trust:  
First Trust Portfolios L.P.  Member SIPC and FINRA. (Form CRS)   •  First Trust Advisors L.P. (Form CRS)
Home |  Important Legal Information |  Privacy Policy |  California Privacy Policy |  Business Continuity Plan |  FINRA BrokerCheck
Copyright © 2024 All rights reserved.