US Trade Balance Deficit Widens for Second Month

US Trade Balance deficit widened 2.2% in April to $29.163 billion from a narrower $28.532 billion in the previous month. Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a higher deficit at $29.0 billion as domestic demand recovered. Looking deeper into the release, the rise in the deficit occured as both components of trade contracted. Exports fell 2.3% on considerable declines in capital and consumer goods along with industrial supplies. Imports meanwhile also posted a fall but at a smaller 1.4% as consumers reduced demand sharply in similar sectors as export cutbacks. Of particular note, oil has been on a significantly rose from a low near $30 a barrel to a recent high above $70 and this has not yet had a noticeable impact on demand. Imports of crude petroleum amounted to 292.6 million barrels or 9.75 million per day, a rise for the third month. The average price on delivery of this supply remains relatively low at $46.60 although it has risen from a low of $39.22 in February. As the increase in price is reflected in May and June, it is expected that demand for the commodity will fall or spending in other sectors will take a hit.