- U.S. exports of goods and services increased by 0.2% in August 2009 to $128.2 billion since July 2009,
- while imports declined 0.6% to $158.9 billion over the same period.
Thus in August 2009, the monthly U.S. goods and services trade deficit decreased by 3.6% to $30.7 billion when compared to July 2009.
Although the decline in year-to-date figures from 2008 to 2009 has been significant, the monthly figures show signs of stabilization.
On a monthly basis, August represents the fourth consecutive month that goods and services exports have increased, with monthly exports rising from $120.6 billion in April 2009 to $128.2 billion in August 2009.
The largest export markets for U.S. goods year-to-date through August 2009 were:
Canada ($130.3 billion),
Mexico ($80.9 billion),
China ($41.2 billion),
Japan ($32.9 billion), and
the United Kingdom ($30.2 billion).
In August, U.S. good exports continued to improve, with exports increasing:
- of pharmaceutical preparations (up $458 million from July 2009),
- steel-making materials (up $356 million),
- and passenger cars (up $285 million).
Through the first eight months of 2009 (January – August), U.S. goods and services exports totaled $996.2 billion, a 20.3% decline from the $1,250.5 billion exported through the same period of 2008.
U.S. goods and service imports fell faster than exports, with imports declining 29.1% through the first eight months of 2009 (when compared to the year earlier period).
The Oil effect on imports and exports:
The decline in trade in nominal terms is partly due to the drastic decline in crude oil prices.
Since the peak reached in July 2008 of $124.6, the price of crude oil has declined 48.0% to a value of $64.8 in August 2009.
Imports: The total value of U.S. imports of petroleum have fallen to $152.5 billion year-to-date through August 2009, compared to $330.4 billion from the year earlier period.
Exports: U.S. exports of petroleum have fallen to $30.0 billion year-to-date through August 2009, down 39.4% from the same period of last year.
Trade with developing countries:
Although trade with most of its major trading partners has fallen, U.S. goods exports continue to grow to developing areas.
The effect of Free Trade Agreements:
Free Trade Agreements have also helped the U.S. to maintain a foothold for U.S. manufactured goods exports:
The U.S. manufactured goods trade balance with the US' FTA partners has improved from a surplus of $12.7 billion through the first eight months of 2008, to a surplus of $19.3 billion through the first eight months of 2009.
NAFTA: The most dramatic improvement in the manufactured goods trade balance has been with NAFTA partner Canada, where the U.S. manufactured goods trade balance has increased to a $19.4 billion surplus!