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 $51.4 Billion in March
Posted Under: Data Watch • Trade
Supporting Image for Blog Post

Implications: This is what happens when a major port strike comes to an end. The trade deficit in goods and services surged in March as imports increased by $17.1 billion, the largest monthly increase ever recorded going back to 1992. The West Coast port strikes ended in late February, and all the ships sitting for weeks, some for months, out in the Pacific were finally unloaded, causing a huge short-term surge in imports. The total number of inbound containers rose 32% from a year ago at the Port of Los Angeles and 42% at the Port of Long Beach. Because imports are a negative in GDP statistics, it now looks like real GDP declined in Q1 at about a 0.5% annual rate, a downward revision from the first estimate of +0.2% growth. Obviously a contraction in real GDP is not good news. But, like last year's contraction at a -2.1% annual rate in the first quarter, this is not something to worry about. In the first quarter of 2014, the problem was the weather. This year, it was a combination of weather, the port strikes, and a rapid drop in exploration and drilling for energy due to lower oil prices. But all of these effects are temporary and we expect a rebound, just like last year. Looking past month-to-month volatility, the trade deficit has been relatively stable over the past few years, with a smaller trade deficit in oil and a slightly larger deficit in other goods, powered by growing purchasing power among US consumers and businesses. We expect to revert to this trend in the year ahead.

Click here for PDF version
Posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 @ 10:17 AM • 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.