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US 2005 Trade Deficit Jumped to $725.8 billion; Petroleum Cost Largest Single Factor

The growing trade gap. Click to enlarge.

According to figures released today by the US Department of Commerce, the US trade deficit—the difference between good and services imported and exported—rose 17.5% in 2005 to a record $725.8 billion. In 2005, the US posted exports of $1,271.1 billion and imports of $1,996.9 billion.

The largest single contributing component was the increased cost of petroleum, related goods and natural gas. The trade deficit in those combined goods increased by $73 billion (40%) to $258 billion—35.5% of the total trade deficit.

The petroleum and natural gas trade deficit. Click to enlarge.

In 2005, the US imported $284 billion worth of crude oil, related petroleum products and natural gas, up 39% from 2004 imports. The US exported $25.4 billion in those same categories, up 32.4% from 2004, resulting in the total trade deficit in 2005 in these goods of $258 billion.

The US trade deficit with OPEC countries in 2005 rose to $92.7 billion, with US trade with Venezuela topping the list at $27.6 billion, followed by Nigeria ($22.6 billion) and Saudi Arabia ($20.4 billion).

The US trade deficit with China rose to a record $201.6 billion in 2005—the highest deficit ever recorded with any country—an increase of 24.5% over the prior record set in 2004 of $161.9 billion. The United States also recorded record deficits with Japan at $82.7 billion. Until it was surpassed by China in 2000, Japan was the country that had the largest trade gap each year with the United States.

As a percentage of US gross domestic product, the total goods and services deficit increased from 5.3% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2005.



Joseph Willemssen

"The trade deficit in those combined goods increased by $73 billion"

Can you imagine how much progress (and value) could be created by investing that in efficiency and petro/nuke alternatives?

Instead, we just threw it away and will again this year.


keep driving your gas guzzers for what?


Whatever big oil wants, big oil gets. For the next 3 years, expect this to get worse before it gets better.


Because of America's relative wealth, population, and overall purchasing power, America finds itself in a deficit. But beware not to assume that deficits are bad altogether. Although I am an advocate of "going green", I don't buy into the fear/hype of deficits. There's more to economics than just this.

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