U.S. Trade Gap Hit $48.7 Billion in November

trade deficit By MARTIN CRUTSINGER

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. trade deficit expanded in November to its widest point in seven months, driven by a surge in imports that outpaced only modest growth in exports.

The Commerce Department said Friday that the trade gap widened 15.8 percent to $48.7 billion in November from October.

Imports grew 3.8 percent to $231.3 billion, led by gains in shipments of cell phones, including Apple's new iPhone.

Exports increased only 1 percent to $182.6 billion. And exports to Europe fell 1.3 percent, further evidence of the prolonged debt crisis that has gripped the region.

A wider trade deficit acts as a drag on U.S. growth. It typically means the U.S. is earning less on overseas sales while spending more on foreign products.

Faster growth in exports helped the U.S. economy grow from July through September at an annual rate of 3.1 percent. Most economists say growth has slowed in the October-December quarter to an annual rate of less than 2 percent, in part because of weaker exports.

Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, predicts trade trimmed growth by about 0.5 percentage point in the final three months of the year. He expects fourth-quarter growth to be no more than a rate of 1.5 percent.

Through the first 11 months of 2012, the trade deficit is running at an annual rate of $546.6 billion. That's roughly 2.4 percent lower than the 2011 deficit.

Imports of consumer goods grew to $45.3 billion in November, a monthly record. Much of the growth was from cell phones and other household electronics products.

Oil imports dropped 2.5 percent, reflecting a fall in prices and lower volume.

Imports of foreign-made autos and auto parts rose a sizable $1.5 billion to $25.6 billion November, likely reflecting catch-up shipments following port disruptions in October caused by Superstorm Sandy.

The U.S. trade deficit with China, the largest with any country, totaled $29 billion in November. That's down slightly from the monthly record of $29.5 billion in October. But the trade gap with China is still on track to set a new annual record in 2012.

Trade was a modest positive for overall economic growth in 2012 and many economists believe that trend will continue in 2013. However, that forecast is based on a view that the European debt crisis stabilizes and growth in Asia begins to rebound.

In its latest outlook, a forecasting panel for the National Association for Business Economics predicted that the U.S. trade deficit for 2013 will total $533 billion, a slight improvement from the $540 billion deficit they expect when the trade numbers are totaled up for all of 2012. That expectation for a slight improvement is based on a view that export growth will outpace imports in 2013.

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Hey dembaitnswitch.......You must be a Michelle Bachmann or Vicky Hartzler fan. Vicky Hartzler, a republican House member from Missouri ran on a platform that .........wanted the government out of people's lives Yet, Vicky continues to take a $5000 farm subsidy welfare check from the government each month, even though she and her husband are worth over $3 million..Evidently, republicans Vicky and Michele think of welfare for the rich or well off as different from welfare for the poor and needy........they like government benefits in their lives. Between the two of them they collect $7500 a month in welfare.......enough to pay the social security benefits of 5 people. Yet, republicans refuse to eliminate welfare for these and many more like them.

January 11 2013 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To the person who thinks the U.S. cannot afford to spend more money on education and training that goes nowhere........... Education is the key to America's future. Take away your kids cell phone, games and TV time and give that kid a book to read. In the 1960's students spent 24 hours doing homework a week......that is down to 16 hours a week now.. American kids need more time studying and less cell phone and TV game time time and it is the parents job to enforce this.....not the teachers. Texting is not a subject that will improve the future of American's children and it the parent's responsibility for their children's future.

January 11 2013 at 5:33 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I would think that this was good news for the economy. Americans are spending more and putting more money into the economy and retailers will benefit. It too bad we are spending more on cell phones and household electronic products made in other countries, but jobs making those products have been gone since Bush took office and said outsourcing was good for the U.S. Democrats had a bill to curb outsourcing American jobs in September 2010 by cutting off tax breaks to companies outsourcing American jobs, but republicans in the Senate filibustered and were able to kill the bill.Once again republicans stood with big business over the American worker.

January 11 2013 at 5:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

With republicans wanting to cut so-called welfare programs for the poor and average American, it seems they do not mention cutting programs for the rich or well off Should Michele Bachmann's family get $2500 a month in farm subsidy money? Should House member Vicky Hartzler of Missouri get $5000 a month in farm subsidies, over $750,000 so far and she and her husband are worth over $3 million. The top recipient of farm subsidies is a company called Riceland Foods. They have gotton over $555 million in subsidies over the last 15 years.Farm subsidies were designed to help struggling farmers, not big businesses or the well off. This is just farm subsidy money and those mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg. Should big oil, the most profitable corporations in the U.S. get subsidies? Should Apple, and other companies, get tax breaks when they manufacture overseas? Why is it that republicans support these perks for big business and the well off, but want to cut money to provide school lunches for poor children? It appears republicans want to help the rich get more rich on the backs of average Americans

January 11 2013 at 4:34 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

We want instant hiring or instant Disability status now!

January 11 2013 at 4:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Were old and broke we can't afford any more gambling on education and training that leads nowhere!

January 11 2013 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We need jobs for old people whose trades like electronic assembly and other factory work was eleminated in NJ and other states! If your over age 50 this economy has been murder!

January 11 2013 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So the tax payers are on the hook to subsidize the farmers so they can make even more money by selling it overseas???
U.S. dairy suppliers capitalized on strong global markets to achieve record export sales in 2011, boosting shipments in a year when milk supplies from competing regions increased dramatically.
Processors and traders moved 3.24 billion lbs. of total milk solids into export channels last year, 7% more than 2010, and 49% more than 2009. Overseas shipments were valued at $4.82 billion, up 30% from the year before, according to government trade data released last week.

With these gains, a growing and significant proportion of the U.S. milk supply is now sold overseas, notes the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC). Exports were equivalent to 13.3% of U.S. milk solids production, up from 12.8% in 2010 and 9.3% in 2009. The ratio of milk powder, whey proteins, lactose and cheese sold offshore was the highest ever, a sign of how important exports have become to the U.S. dairy industry.

“The most important benefit of our ongoing export expansion is that it enables U.S. dairy farmers to grow,” said Les Hardesty, a dairy producer from Greeley, Colo., chairman of USDEC and a board member of Dairy Management Inc., which is USDEC’s primary funder. “Since 2003, U.S. milk production has increased 15% and more than half (60%) of the incremental milk volume has been sold overseas. USDEC’s long-term engagement with U.S. suppliers in overseas markets has helped make that possible.”

Just like the tax payers subsidizing big oil.

The big five corporations piled up profits of more than $1 trillion between 2001 and 2011. ExxonMobil alone raked in $16 billion in profits in April, May, and June of this year, the highest-ever quarterly profit for a US corporation.

Despite such staggering windfalls, the federal government continues to subsidize oil companies large and small.

NEW YORK (AP) – For the first time, the top export of the United States, the world's biggest gas guzzler, is — wait for it — fuel.

Now lets pay more in taxes so these company's can make a bigger profit and we can pay more at the stores and the gas pump. Thanks UNCLE SAM..

January 11 2013 at 4:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Isn't that about the same amount that was printed last month?

January 11 2013 at 2:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

America could relive the golden years of yesterday were all had jobs and paid their own way if our government would levy the same import rules and tariffs that the countries we export to do.

That and if our leaders in Washington would stop buying up cargo ship after cargo ship of food products with our tax dollars and giving it away to countries who also hold a large part of our debt, we would also see the food prices come down here.

Plus if our bought and paid for leaders on Capital Hill would stop giving away Americans natural resources to big oil so as they can make record profits year after year we would have lower fuel prices.

But like the old saying goes you scratch my back and I will contribute millions to your election campaign.

January 11 2013 at 2:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply