Higher oil prices and imported cars drive up trade deficit (USO, TM, HMC, NSANY, HYMLF)

The U.S. trade deficit increased more than forecast in November as American exports dropped and imports of crude oil (USO, quote) and foreign automobiles increased. 

The gap grew 10.4 percent to $47.8 billion, the widest since June, the Commerce Department reported. 

“Domestic demand is a bit stronger than external demand as global growth weakens,” said Jeremy Lawson, a senior U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York.

“The question is whether U.S. consumption can be maintained in the first part of the year post-Christmas. There are a lot of headwinds.”

What is troubling is Saudi Arabia’s recent declaration that it wants to maintain the price of crude oil at around $100 a barrel, as reported in a Financial Times piece and the focus of a recent article on www.emergingmoney.com.  As the biggest component of the U.S. trade deficit is the cost of imported crude oil, this guarantees sizable American import/export imbalances for the future.

Toyota (TM, quote), Honda (HMC, quote) and Nissan (NSANY, quote) sell the most foreign cars in the United States, at present.  The most popular models are the Camry and Corolla from Toyota; and the Civic, and Accord from Honda. 

This could change as Hyundai Motors  (HYMLF, quote) now has the most loyal customers, as detailed in a recent article on www.emergingmoney.com


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