Merchandise exports rose 1.6% year-on-year in August, following July’s 2.1% increase. Output represents the slowest growth since February 2021. Meanwhile, merchandise imports rose 37.3% year-on-year in August (July: +43.6% YoY).
As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, posting a deficit of $28.0 billion in August (July 2022: deficit of $30.0 billion; August 2021: deficit of $11.7 billion). Finally, the trend was to the downside, with the 12-month commodity trade balance posting a deficit of $272.3 billion in August, compared to a deficit of $258.1 billion in July.
In fiscal year 2022, committee members expected that exports and imports would rise by 12.9% and 17.6%, respectively, bringing the merchandise trade deficit to 254 billion US dollars. In fiscal year 2023, committee members expected exports to increase by 4.3%, while imports to grow by 1.4%, resulting in a merchandise trade deficit of US$243 billion.