In some of the early data coming out in this period of trade disputes, the goods deficit of the July trade report totaled a much deeper-than-expected $72.2 billion. Exports of goods fell 1.7 percent in the month to $140.0 billion showing a very steep 6.7 percent month-to-month decline in food & feeds together with a 2.5 percent dip in exports of consumer goods and a 1.7 percent decline in the nation's largest export, that of capital goods.
Imports also added to the widening of the deficit in July, up 0.9 percent compared to June to $212.2 billion with foods & feeds up 2.1 percent, vehicles up 1.6 percent, and industrial supplies, which include petroleum products, up 0.9 percent. The nation's largest import category is consumer goods which was the only category to fall on the import side of the data, down 1.5 percent in the month.
July's $72.2 billion goods deficit compares with a monthly average of $66.7 billion in the second quarter which was a very good quarter for trade, representing 1.1 percentage points of the quarter's 4.1 percent pace. Today's results, however, pose a very slow start for the third quarter.