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Current year-to-date ( YTD ) data is through August 2019.

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Trade Snapshot

U.S. trade decreases 0.38 percent through August

U.S. trade with the world totaled $2.77 trillion through the first eight months of 2019, according to a WorldCity analysis of the latest U.S. Census Bureau data.

That’s a 0.38 percent decrease since the same time period last year. The nation’s exports dropped 0.71 percent to $1 trillion and imports dropped 0.16 percent to $1.67 trillion. The overall trade deficit was $575 billion up compared to the same period last year, when the deficit was $570 billion.

Through August, the nation’s top trade partners were No. 1 Mexico, No. 2 Canada, No. 3 China, No. 4 Japan and No. 5 Germany. The same time period last year, the top five spots were held by No. 1 China, No. 2 Canada, No. 3 Mexico, No. 4 Japan and No. 5 Germany, respectively.

Taking a closer look at the leading U.S. trade partners:

  • No. 1 Mexico’s trade rose 2.25 percent to $414 billion. Exports fell 1.67 percent to $173 billion. Imports rose 5.27 percent to $241 billion.
  • No. 2 Canada’s trade fell 1.69 percent to $408 billion. Exports fell 2 percent to $197 billion. Imports fell 1.4 percent to $212 billion.
  • No. 3 China’s trade fell 13.16 percent to $372 billion. Exports fell 16.05 percent to $70 billion. Imports fell 12.46 percent to $302 billion.
  • No. 4 Japan’s trade rose 3.55 percent to $148 billion. Exports rose 2.64 percent to $50 billion. Imports rose 4.02 percent to $98 billion.
  • No. 5 Germany’s trade rose 2.42 percent to $126 billion. Exports rose 3.15 percent to $40 billion. Imports rose 2.08 percent to $86 billion.

The nation’s top five trading partners through August accounted for 46.92 percent of its trade with the world.

The U.S. had trade surpluses with 131 countries and deficits with 101 through August. That compares with 126 surpluses and 106 deficits for the same period one year earlier. The top three surpluses through August of this year were with Hong Kong, $18 billion; The Netherlands, $15 billion; Belgium, $10 billion. The top three deficits were with China, $232 billion; Mexico, $67 billion; and Japan, $49 billion.

The nation’s top five exports by value through August were civilian aircraft, parts; gasoline, other fuels; oil; motor vehicles for transporting people; and motor vehicle parts in that order. Those accounted for 22.53 percent of its total outbound trade.

The value of the nation’s top five imports through August were motor vehicles for transporting people; oil; cell phones, related equipment; computers; and returned exports, without change. They accounted for 22.83 percent of all inbound shipments.

Looking more closely at U.S. exports:

  • No. 1 Civilian aircraft, parts fell 0.66 percent compared to last year, to $82 billion.
  • No. 2 Gasoline, other fuels fell 6.07 percent compared to last year, to $57 billion.
  • No. 3 Oil rose 45.01 percent compared to last year, to $41 billion.
  • No. 4 Motor vehicles for transporting people rose 3.66 percent compared to last year, to $37 billion.
  • No. 5 Motor vehicle parts fell 2.98 percent compared to last year, to $30 billion.

On the import side:

  • No. 1 Motor vehicles for transporting people rose 4.29 percent compared to last year, to $119 billion.
  • No. 2 Oil fell 18.28 percent compared to last year, to $88 billion.
  • No. 3 Cell phones, related equipment fell 11.01 percent compared to last year, to $61 billion.
  • No. 4 Computers fell 3.03 percent compared to last year, to $59 billion.
  • No. 5 Returned exports, without change rose 14.45 percent compared to last year, to $55 billion.