The August 2009 international trade in goods and services report was released today. Anything that reduces the U.S. trade deficit to me is good news.
August exports of $128.2 billion and imports of $158.9 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $30.7 billion, down from $31.9 billion in July, revised. August exports were $0.2 billion more than July exports of $128.0 billion. August imports were $0.9 billion less than July imports of $159.8 billion.
The so-so news is that U.S. exports in goods remains unchanged, but exports in services did increase by $200 million. Services are only $11.2 billion in comparison to goods, which are the dominant element in trade: $41.9 Billion. Imports are decreasing, (a sign the U.S. consumer economy is slowing) and the main reason the trade deficit shrank. Goods imports dropped by $800 million and services imports dropped by $100 million.
Don't get your panties all blown out on this, services imports (think outsourcing as part of this) is still $30.2 billion.
U.S. capital goods (think finance) lead the export decrease by $1.3 billion. Imports decreasing are industrial supplies and materials, another ominous sign for U.S. manufacturing.
The increase in services exports were travel, freight and my favorite, professional services.
In Wholesale Trade and Inventories we have sales up 1.0% (don't get too excited, that's a 0.5% error margin), from July 2009 but still 17.7% below August 2008 levels.
Wholesale inventories just cannot get off the ground. They are down 1.3% from July and still down 14.7% for the year.
The chart for sales to inventories ratio is below. Are we there yet? (in terms of a recovery). Uh, no, in spite of all of the economic cheerleading.