Trade Deficit Increases in January

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By: Joe Kafchinski

For January 2012, the trade deficit in goods and services increased to $52.6 billion from $50.4 billion (revised) in December, as the $4.7 billion increase in imports outpaced the $2.6 billion increase in exports. January imports of $233.4 billion were a record.

January saw record imports of Capital Goods ($44.7 billion); Automotive Vehicles, Parts, and Engines ($25.3 billion); and Foods, Feeds, and Beverages ($9.6 billion). Exports of Capital Goods ($43.2 billion) and Automotive Vehicles, Parts, and Engines ($12.7 billion) were also records in January.

As is typical with the January statistical month release, a few methodological and organizational changes were introduced to the U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services Report. The most significant of these is the introduction of an additional level of seasonal adjustment to the chained dollar series (Exhibits 10 and 11). The underlying data used to calculate the chained dollar data has always been seasonally adjusted, but with January 2012 statistics we have also started seasonally adjusting the prices used to deflate the data to the 2005 base year. For those interested, more information on the chain-weighting process, and seasonal adjustment of chained dollars can be found here and here. New seasonally adjusted data are available back to January 2010.

For more information on past and present changes to the U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, or to sign up to be notified by email when changes occur, go to the Foreign Trade Statistical Notices page.

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