Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another disappointing trade report...

The Census Bureau reported today:
April exports of $121.1 billion and imports of $150.3 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $29.2 billion, up from $28.5 billion in March, revised. April exports were $2.8 billion less than March exports of $123.9 billion. April imports were $2.2 billion less than March imports of $152.5 billion.
Every broad category of international goods trade, except food and beverage exports and consumer goods imports, fell in April.

Source: Census Bureau, Exhibit 6. You can download the data here

There's no way to spin this report: trade continues its relentless decline.

The chart illustrates the cumulative growth in nominal exports and imports since the beginning of the Great Recession. Over the entire period, the level of trade, as measured by exports, imports, and non-petroleum imports, is down 20-30%. These are nominal numbers, and there was growth the first half of 2008 on booming commodity prices. However, the sharp drop in global demand has quickly taken that away.

Although a falling dollar should help exports, the global economy is too weak to depend on that!

Rebecca Wilder


  1. Aren't the optimists are saying that it isn't falling as rapidly as before as if that is supposed to be "good" news? Kind of the opposite of Chicken Little.

  2. By the way, this is another group of very interesting posts, Rebecca!