By: Joe Kafchinski
Exports were up $3.5 billion in May, to $148.7 billion. The increase was mostly accounted for by increases in Capital Goods ($2.0 billion – including items such as industrial machines, medicinal equipment, and generator) and Industrial Supplies ($0.6 billion – including fuel oil, finished metal shapes, and plastic materials).
Imports were up $5.5 billion to $194.5 billion, despite a drop of $2.8 billion in petroleum imports. Crude oil imports alone fell $2.2 billion, to $20.9 billion in May from $23.1 billion. The import increase was led by increases in passenger cars ($1.3 billion), computers ($0.9 billion), and pharmaceutical preparations ($0.7 billion).
The petroleum deficit of $21.5 billion accounted for 50.8% of the goods and services deficit in May, the smallest percentage since it was 40.4% in January 2009. Since then, petroleum has accounted for as much as 63.2% of the total trade deficit, in December 2009, when the petroleum deficit was $23.5 billion and the overall deficit was $37.1 billion.