U.S. Trade Deficit Hits Lowest Level in 4 Years

Domestic energy production up while foreign imports are down

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Mark Elias / Bloomberg / Getty Images

A top-loader vehicle carries a container through the South Florida Container Terminal yard at the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade County, Florida, U.S.

The United States trade deficit, the dollar-value difference between American imports and exports, fell to $34.3 billion in November, the lowest level in four years, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

The decline in the deficit was due in part to an increase in exports, which are up 17% above their pre-recession peak and roughly 5% since November of 2012. The main driver of an increase in exports has been the recent boom in U.S. energy production, as petroleum exports reached a record high in November. Energy was also the driving factor behind a decline in imports, as petroleum purchases from abroad dipped to their lowest level since 201o.

Export growth has been a main goal of the Obama administration, as he set out an ambitious goal of doubling U.S. exports between 2010 and 2014 to $3.2 trillion. Though it looks unlikely that that goal will be reached, export growth has been outpacing overall growth of the economy.

5 comments
dellflorida
dellflorida

There should neot be a trade deficit.....balme i ton congress... Up til about 1970,the U.S. had a trade surplus and was a creditor nation(lent money to others)..it was all based on manufacturing and sellimng more U.S. ,amufactured goods than we imported...

Since 1970 we  have trade deficits, import more than we export and are a 'Debtor Nation'- our prosperity rather than based on manufacturing is based on consumer spending and consumer debt...A sad story..By the way since 1970-we have had 20 years of Republican presidents. coincidence?

Openminded1
Openminded1

Obama the failure, liar con man racist will go down in history all right just not the way he wanted too.

schroeder.cary
schroeder.cary

I'm guessing everything besides energy declined.  Like factory made products.

dellflorida
dellflorida

@Openminded1 I can see you are very Openminded.-that is a good attitude to have......... Coulkd you cite an example of how Obama  is a con man or racist? Also, Is It a lie to say on the new Healthcare-you can keep  you old policy? he doesn't know the future.  He doesn't control the insurance companies,and their new policy of dumping people. Predciting something in the future  is not a 'Lie'- but a failed prediciton-sort of stupid also...but economists  and stock analystsdo it every day-nobody call them a 'liar'....

Openminded1
Openminded1

@dellflorida @Openminded1 Openminded1 my post name is meant to be ironic. Obama conned all you liberals into voting for him with is quiet ,cool demeanor and you morons fell for it. He lies almost every time he talks, even about is true religion which is muslim like the rest of his family is. You can keep your plan and doctors, what bs. I do not care I do not need the bs Obama care. Racist for sure go back and listen, and read the things he has said in the last few years you will hear the racist remarks. Of course if you are black or just a major bleeding heart lib who votes along party lines no matter who is in the race, No matter what I say you will not believe it or understand it. you are to narrow minded as a democrat.