Merchandise exports fell 4.2% YoY in July (June: +1.0% YoY). The July figure represents the biggest contraction since January 2021. Meanwhile, merchandise imports rose 21.5% y/y in July (June: +26.3% y/y), marking the weakest result since February 2021.
As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, posting a deficit of $5.9 billion in July (June 2022: $5.9 billion deficit; July 2021: $3.5 billion deficit). Finally, the trend deteriorated, with the 12-month overdue merchandise trade balance posting a deficit of $56.5 billion in July, compared to a deficit of $54.1 billion in June.
Members of the FocusEconomics Consensus forecast committee see exports rising 3.3% in 2022, while imports seeing an 8.7% increase, with a trade deficit of $50.0 billion. In 2023, exports and imports are expected to increase by 4.0% and 3.8%, respectively, with a trade deficit of US$51.7 billion.