Trade Gap Widens More Than Expected: Expect More Trump Howls

Economists expected the trade gap to increase, but the results were even worse, with falling exports the main culprit.

The Commerce Department International Trade report for January shows the US trade deficit with the rest of the world increased to $-56.6 billion from a revised higher $55.1 billion in December.

Trade Highlights

  • January exports were $200.9 billion, $2.7 billion less than December exports.
  • January imports were $257.5 billion, down less than $0.1 billion from December imports.
  • The January increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $2.8 billion to $76.5 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $0.1 billion to $19.9 billion.
  • Year-over-year, the goods and services deficit increased $7.9 billion, or 16.2 percent, from January 2017. Exports increased $9.7 billion or 5.1 percent. Imports increased $17.6 billion or 7.4 percent.

Goods Exports

Exports of goods on a Census basis decreased $3.3 billion.

  • Capital goods decreased $2.6 billion.
  • Industrial supplies and materials decreased $1.3 billion.
  • Other goods decreased $1.0 billion.
  • Consumer goods increased $1.2 billion (Artwork, antiques, stamps, and other collectibles increased $0.5 billion. Pharmaceutical preparations increased $0.4 billion.)

We are exporting more antiques. Lovely. That will get the economy humming.

Goods Imports

Imports of goods on a Census basis decreased $0.3 billion.

  • Capital goods decreased $1.3 billion.
  • Consumer goods decreased $0.9 billion. (Cell phones and other household goods decreased $1.2 billion).
  • Industrial supplies and materials increased $2.0 billion.

Goods by Selected Countries and Areas

  • The January figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with Hong Kong ($2.6), South and Central America ($2.4), Singapore ($0.9), Brazil ($0.5), and United Kingdom ($0.3).
  • Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China ($35.5), European Union ($15.0), Germany ($6.3), Mexico ($5.6), Japan ($5.6), Italy ($2.8), OPEC ($2.5), India ($1.8), Taiwan ($1.5), Canada ($1.5), South Korea ($1.5), France ($1.4), and Saudi Arabia ($0.6).

The Econoday consensus was for the trade deficit to widen to $-55.1 billion from $53.1 billion. The consensus range was $-56.1 billion to $-52.8 billion. The report was outside the range. Trump will howl.

It's shocking, but somehow Econoday did not find hidden strength in antiques.


Let's invade Canada over that $1.5 billion. We need to go after Italian shoes too. To hell with it. Just stop all imports and export more antiques and drugs.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (14)
No. 1-14

Looks like the Fed will need to back off on those rate hikes. Gonna have big Tariffs to monetize.


Inflate, or die. Those are their only choices.


The United States became the greatest economy in history by becoming a manufacturing power. Manufacturing jobs (after years of labor struggle) came to pay living wage jobs that would support a family. The loss of millions of manufacturing jobs through globalization has had devastating effects to the United States. Other countries like Germany and China understand the importance of manufacturing. They do not export their jobs, instead they protect their jobs. Globalization has been great for corporate profits, but bad for millions of American workers. Exporting products made in USA is good. Exporting jobs is bad- for the economy and society.


I wonder if Tariffs could have saved the Buggy Whip manufacturing industry back in the beginnings of the automobile age?


"Just stop all imports and export more antiques and drugs."

The reason thats all we have left to export is due to globalist traitors who gutted our nation to build Asia.