U.S. Merchandise Trade Deficit Hits 11-Year High Through May; $137.1 Billion With China Alone

By Terence P. Jeffrey | July 3, 2019 | 12:32 PM EDT

President Donald Trump with President Xi Jinping of China in Beijing, Nov. 9, 2017. (Getty Images/Thomas Peter-Pool)

(CNSNews.com) - The merchandise trade deficit hit an 11-year high of $359,579,800,000 for the first five months of 2019, according to data released today by the Census Bureau.

The merchandise trade deficit for the month of May alone also hit an 11-year high of $75,048,600,000.

So far this year, the U.S. has run a $137.1 billion merchandise trade deficit with China alone.

The last time the trade deficit was higher for the month of May and through the first five months of the year was in 2008, when the deficit was $86,225,000,000 in the month of May (in constant May 2019 dollars) and the deficit for January through May was $422,544,940,000 (in constant May 2019 dollars).

China was by far the largest contributor to the U.S. merchandise trade deficit both in the month of May and so far in 2019. In May, the U.S. ran a merchandise trade deficit with China of $30.2 billion. The next largest trade deficit for the month was with Mexico, but that was only $9.2 billion. Germany was third at $5.9 billion, Japan was fourth with $5.3 billion and Ireland was fifth with $5.1 billion.

In the five-month period from January through May, the U.S. ran a merchandise trade deficit of $137.1 billion with China. Mexico was second at $40.5 billion; Japan was third with $30.1 billion; Germany was fourth with $27.1 billion; and Vietnam was fifth with 21.6 billion.

[This is the Census Bureau's ranking of the 15 countries that ran the highest merchandise trade deficits with the United States from January throug June. The values of those deficit are shown in billions of dollars.]

(Values for historical trade numbers were adjusted to constant May 2019 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.)

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

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