Trade Deficit Decreased in 2012

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By: Lam Nguyen & Kevin Yang

The Nation’s international trade deficit in goods and services decreased to $540.4 billion in 2012 from $559.9 billion in 2011.  Exports increased $92.6 billion to $2,195.9 billion in 2012, with increases of $33.7 billion occurred in capital goods and $12.9 billion in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines. Imports increased $73.0 billion to $2,736.3 billion in 2012, contributed by the increase of $43.1 billion in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines and $37.5 billion in capital goods.

December Goods and Services Deficit Lowest Since January 2010

For December 2012, the trade deficit decreased to $38.5 billion from $48.6 billion in November (revised).  Exports increased $3.9 billion to $186.4 billion, primarily due to the increase of $3.8 billion in industrial supplies and materials. Meanwhile, imports decreased $6.2 billion to $224.9 billion, largely due to the $4.2 billion decrease in industrial supplies and materials and $0.9 billion decrease in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines.

For more information, please visit www.census.gov/ft900.

Automotive Imports Rebound

December’s annual totals for the top 5 countries importing automobiles (NAICS 3361). 2012 was a record high of automotive imports with $167 billion, an increase of 19% from 2011.  Automotive imports have bounced back from the recession of 2009. Within the top 5 countries, Germany had the largest percentage increase of 106% when compared to 2009 and an increase of 20% compared to 2011. Japan, which had the largest decrease of 42% from 2008 to 2009 among the top 5, improved 58% from 2009 to 2012 and improved 26% from 2011 to 2012.

To see more data on this, please visit our Graph of the Month page.

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