U.S. Trade Deficit Rises Slightly Higher in May
The U.S. trade deficit edged slightly higher in May, from $40.7 billion in April to $41.87 billion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau. The May decline was largely a result of a decrease in goods exports that more than offset the decrease in goods imports, demonstrating again how much manufacturers have struggled from global headwinds through the first five months of this year. The deficit has been volatile so far this year, but the year-to-date average of $42.57 billion in May is nearly identical to the $42.36 billion average observed in 2014. To learn more, visit here.
Oil Imports at Lowest Level in 13 Years
At its lowest level since February 2002, the petroleum trade deficit narrowed from $6.82 billion to $5.78 billion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau. Much of this decline is due to a decrease in price, which fell from an average of $96.12 per barrel in May 2014 to $50.76 a barrel in May 2015. The quantity of barrels imported was also lower, down from 212.98 million barrels to 201.88 million barrels, and petroleum exports increased from $8.55 billion in April to $9.52 billion in May. To learn more, visit here.
Manufacturing Jobs Neared An 8-Year High in May
Manufacturing job openings were at their highest levels in nearly eight years in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). Job postings in the manufacturing sector continued their upward trend from 335,000 in April to 347,000, the highest level since July 2007. Net hiring in the sector (hires minus separations) was 3,000 in May – the first positive reading for net hiring since January. These positive survey results could indicate stronger hiring activity moving forward. To learn more, visit here.
Hawaii Focuses on Growing Manufacturing Sector
Manufacturing is a huge generator for Hawaii’s state economy. Output in the sector has grown from $1.3 billion in 2010 to $1.5 billion in 2014 (roughly two percent of overall gross state product) and manufacturers employ 13,500 workers in Hawaii. Future growth will likely come from increase exports to top destinations such as Australia, China, Japan, Singapore and Panama. To learn more, visit here.