The International Trade in Goods and Services report for November 2011, issued by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, showed a decrease in U.S. exports of goods and services over the month. The $177.8 billion in exports, a 0.9 percent decline, came coupled with an increase in consumer goods exports; a record high $15.7 billion. Imports of goods and services increased by 1.3 percent (reaching $225.6 billion) increasing the U.S. trade deficit by 10.4 percent (reaching $47.8 billion). Due to rising fuel prices, imports of petroleum increased by 31 percent and imports of crude oil increased 6.5 percent.
However, during the twelve-month period ending November 2011, American exports of goods and services increased by 15 percent ($251.5 billion); totaling $1.93 trillion. The increase was largely thanks to gains in domestic industry sectors such as automobiles. U.S. exports in cars rose 24 percent ($8.3 billion) between November 2010 and November 2011.
Commenting on the report, U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson states, “Today’s international trade numbers illustrate the impact imports of petroleum products have on America’s trade deficit. They’re also an indication of the need to further intensify our efforts to reach the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside our borders.
“The good news from today’s report is that we remain on track to meet President Obama’s goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014, and the increase in U.S. auto exports is especially promising for an industry that some were prepared to leave for dead just three years ago.”