Record Highs for Exports and Imports in March

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By: Jeff McHugh

For March 2012, the trade deficit in goods and services increased to $51.8 billion from $45.4 billion (revised) in February, as both exports and imports increased to record highs of $186.8 billion and $238.6 billion, respectively. 

March goods exports ($131.5 billion) and imports ($198.0 billion) were the highest on record.  March saw record exports of Industrial Supplies and Materials ($44.3 billion) and Capital Goods ($44.4 billion).  March also saw record highs in imports of Capital Goods ($47.7 billion) and Automative Vehicles, Parts, and Engines ($25.4 billion).  March exports ($54.1 billion) and imports ($38.3 billion) of services were also the highest on record.  Other March press release highlights can be found on the Trade Highlights page.

The Graph of the Month for March shows U.S. Imports of Automobiles (NAICS 3361) from Japan over the last 18 months.  The dip in April and May clearly shows the effects of the March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The graph also shows that automobile imports from Japan have returned to their pre-earthquake levels and have actually increased the past three months.

In addition to the March U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services Report, the Census Bureau also released the U.S. Goods Trade: Imports & Exports by Related-Parties 2011 report.  

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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