Home   Logon   Mobile Site   Research and Commentary   About Us   Call 1.800.621.1675 or Email Us       Follow Us: 

Search by Ticker, Keyword or CUSIP       

Blog Home
   Brian Wesbury
Chief Economist
Click for Bio
Follow Brian on Twitter Follow Brian on LinkedIn View Videos on YouTube
   Bob Stein
Deputy Chief Economist
Click for Bio
Follow Bob on Twitter Follow Bob on LinkedIn View Videos on YouTube
  The Trade Deficit in Goods and Services Came in at $44.4 Billion in March
Posted Under: Data Watch • Trade
Supporting Image for Blog Post


Implications: An ugly report for trade in March showing the Coronavirus Contraction taking hold. The trade deficit in goods and services came in at $44.4 billion, with both imports and exports declining substantially.  Exports fell faster than imports, dropping by the most on record for any month, which is why the trade deficit grew.  More important is that the total volume of trade (imports plus exports), which signals how much businesses and consumers interact across the US border, dropped 7.8% in March and is down 11.4% versus a year ago.  Expect a further slowdown in both imports and exports over coming months as the Coronavirus takes a toll along with the mandated shutdowns of business across the US and the world.  Once the Coronavirus restrictions start to ease, imports and exports should rebound, boosted by new trade deals with key trading partners.  But it may take a few more months before that trend reasserts itself.  If there was any good news in today's report it was that, for the seventh month in a row, the dollar value of US petroleum exports exceeded or met that of US petroleum imports. Horizontal drilling and fracking have transformed the global energy market and the US is no longer hostage to foreign oil.  However, given recent price movements, oil production in the US may decline even faster than consumption, meaning a trade deficit in oil may temporarily re-assert itself.  In other news late last week, cars and light trucks were sold at an 8.6 million annual rate in April the slowest pace for any month since 1970.  Sales were down 24.5% from March and 47.9% from a year ago.  These declines reflect lockdowns put in place in mid-March and which continued through much of April.  The good news is that sales appeared to pick up later in April and came in above consensus expectations for the month.  We think April will be the low point for the recession. 

Click here  for PDF version

Posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 @ 11:26 AM • Post Link Share: 
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.
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 © 2022 All rights reserved.