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July 12, 2022

US trade deficit edges down 1.3% in May

The US trade deficit in goods and services declined by 1.3% in May, reflecting a decrease in the goods deficit of US$2.9bn and a fall in the services surplus of $1.7bn.

By Beth Wright

The deficit amounted to US$85.5bn in May, down US$1.1bn from US$86.7bn in April, revised, according to trade statistics released by the Department of Commerce. 

Exports were $255.9bn, $3bn more than April exports, while imports were $341.4bn, up $1.9bn than those in April.

The May decrease in the goods and services deficit reflected a decrease in the goods deficit of $2.9bn to $105bn and a decrease in the services surplus of $1.7bn to $19.4bn.

Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $126.5bn, or 38.4%, from the same period in 2021. Exports increased $197.1bn or 19.4%. Imports increased $323.6bn or 24%.

The largest deficit was recorded with China at US$32.2bn, followed by the European Union as US$17.1bn, and Vietnam at US$11.1bn. Deficits were also recorded with Mexico (US$9.9bn), Canada (US$9.8bn), Germany (US$6.1bn), Ireland (US$6bn), Japan (US$5.9bn), South Korea (US$4.1bn), Taiwan (US$3.9bn), Italy (US$3.8bn), India (US$3.7bn), Malaysia (US$2.9bn), Switzerland (US$1.9bn), Saudi Arabia (US$1.4bn), France (US$0.6bn), and Israel (US$0.4bn).

Surpluses for the month of May, meanwhile, were recorded with South and Central America (US$7.1bn), Netherlands (US$2.5bn), Hong Kong (US$2bn), United Kingdom (US$1.6bn), Brazil (US$1.5bn), Singapore (US$1.4bn), Belgium (US$1.1bn), and Australia (US$1bn).

Prior to the revision, the US international trade deficit in goods and services was reported at US$87.1bn in April, falling by more than 19% after topping US$100bn for what was understood to be the first time a month prior.

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