US trade deficit narrows to lowest since October 2009 - upwards GDP revision likely

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis has said the country’s trade deficit narrowed in June, coming in at a lower than expected $34.22bn. This was down from a downwardly revised $44.10bn deficit the month before.

Analysts had expected to see the trade deficit shrink slightly less drastically to $43.50bn. June's trade deficit was its lowest since October 2009.

Total exports in June rose 2.2 per cent to $191.2bn, driven by capital goods, while imports fell 2.4 per cent to $231.2bn on low oil imports (the petroleum deficit is at its lowest point since November 2010).

The goods deficit shrank 15 per cent to $53.2bn (exports increased 3.1 per cent to $134.3bn, imports fell 3.0 per cent to $187.4bn), while the services surplus increased 1.1 per cent to $18.9bn (exports up 0.2 per cent to $56.9bn, imports virtually unchanged at $38.0bn).

The unexpected and notable improvement suggests there could be an upward revision to second quarter GDP estimates. Goldman Sachs raised its tracking estimate to 2.2 per cent from 1.7 per cent. Barclays' revision was even more drastic, up 0.7 percentage points to 2.5 per cent.