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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Trade Balance, June

It turns out that the trade balance in June kinda went south:

June, that magical mystery month of brilliant possibilities, continues to disappoint. Foreign Trade Main:
The Nation's international trade deficit in goods and services increased to $53.1 billion in June from $50.8 billion (revised) in May, as exports decreased more than imports.
May's trade deficit was revised up from 50.2 to 50.8 billion.

Relative to May and June, there was a big increase of petroleum and petroleum product, although the average cost per barrel did drop slightly from $108.70 to $106. Exhibit 1 gives you the SA version - between June's figure and May's upward revision, SA net imports fell from -140,796 in Q1 to -147,523 in Q2. Exhibit 10 gives you the seasonally adjusted real figures for goods (does not include services). For imports we now see Q2 at 145,919 > 148,761 > 148,445. Note that structurally, net real goods imports for Q2 were probably suppressed by Japanese supply problems - look at the automotive category and look at the relationship between the Q1 months and the Q2 months. For exports, we now have 102,274 > 100,879 > 97,554. Not a favorable progression.

That's a three month SA real deficit of 142,218 compared to the first quarter's 150,786. Net exports in the advance GDP release contributed about 19 billion of the total 42 billion quarterly annualized gain, and it does not look like that trend will continue. Q2 GDP will probably be revised down.

Another way to look at this is via Table 2, which gives you the rolling three month averages on a seasonally-adjusted, but not price-adjusted, basis.

Mr. Market in action:

Good news and bad news.

First the good news. It would seem we're starting to emerge from the hurricane.

Now the bad news. Unfortunately, our previous location was within the hurricane's eye.

Despair.com: Change
Ah, Mark. Your team spirit and optimism is so infectious....
Trade balance should always be shown in tables, right? It's a good way to see if everything's doing good. It should be under control. However, if certain flaws are detected, they should be made as reliable bases to improve the next monthly trade balance. Deficits and surplus should be avoided.
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