Trade Deficit Decreases in February

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By: Janet Freas

For February 2012, the trade deficit in goods and services decreased to $46.0 billion from $52.5 billion (revised) in January, as exports increased to a record high of $181.2 billion and imports decreased to $227.2 billion. 

February exports ($53.2 billion) and imports ($37.8 billion) of services were the highest on record.   Other February press highlights include Exports of Capital Goods ($43.2 billion) were the highest on record and exports of Foods, Feeds, and Beverages ($10.0 billion) were the lowest since December 2010 ($8.1 billion). (Exhibit 6)

As the U.S sees higher gasoline prices, the February quantity of crude oil imports (226 million barrels) was the lowest since February 1997 (211 million barrels). (Exhibit 17) In addition, the February deficit with OPEC ($6.4 billion) was the lowest since October 2010 ($5.6 billion) and the February imports from OPEC ($12.2 billion) were the lowest since November 2010 ($11.6 billion).  (Exhibit 14) The graph below shows the U.S. import trade with OPEC for that period. More visual U.S. Trade facts including petroleum imports are located in Foreign Trade’s interactive graphs found at

For more information on 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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