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Though they were overshadowed (as usual) on Friday by the simultaneous release of the monthly jobs report – which was unexpectedly lousy – the new trade statistics issued that morning revealed some important developments as well.

They showed that the goods and services U.S. trade deficit rose 5.35 percent on month in April, as the current dollar oil shortfall reached a post-March, 1999 bottom, the real oil deficit hit its second straight record monthly low, and inflation-adjusted oil exports hit their fourth straight all-time high. But the total trade deficit numbers and rates of change were distorted by an enormous (12.13 percent) downward revision in the March figure – which is now at a more than two-year low.

The biggest changes resulted from a 5.35 percent upward revision in services exports. Trade shortfalls with China, and in manufacturing and high tech goods all rose, and the gap with Korea – whose trade deal with the United States is the TPP model – reached a new record high. And in April, the Made in Washington portion of the trade deficit – those trade flows heavily affected by U.S. trade policies rose again, too, and continued slowing already feeble recovery-era growth.

Here are selected highlights:

>The U.S. goods and services trade deficit rose by 5.35 percent on month in April, to $37.44 billion. But the results and especially the increase – stemming largely from record improvements in oil trade flows – were distorted by a huge 12.13 percent downward revision in that March total, which brought it to its lowest monthly level since December, 2013.

>Whereas Census’ previous report pegged the March overall trade deficit at $40.44 billion, the new figures lowered that number to $35.54 billion – the smallest since December, 2013’s $34.81 billion.

>Combined goods and services exports in March were revised up by 2.01 percent, and total imports were judged to be 0.91 percent lower.

>The biggest proportionate revisions by far came in services trade. The March surplus in this sector was upgraded by 21.22 percent – from $18.07 billion to $21.91 billion. That previous figure would have been the lowest since November, 2012.

>The bulk of these revisions came on the services export side. These foreign sales were revised up by 5.35 percent – from $59.80 billion to $63.00 billion.

>The April overall trade shortfall – still the fourth lowest since October, 2013 – was held down largely by historic energy results.

>The current dollar oil trade deficit fell sequentially by 3.36 percent to $3.13 billion – the lowest such total since March, 1999.

>Oil exports rose by 10.13 percent, from $6.53 billion to $7.19 billion, while imports rose only about half as fast – by 5.65 percent, from $9.77 billion to $10.32 billion.

>In inflation-adjusted terms, the April results were even more dramatic.

>The real oil trade deficit fell by 4.83 percent in April, from $8.05 billion to $7.66 billion – its second straight all-time low.

>Real oil exports increased by 6.67 percent, from $9.29 billion to $9.91 billion – their fourth straight all-time high.

>Price-adjusted oil imports rose as well, but only by 1.33 percent – from $17.34 billion to $17.57 billion.

>April’s services trade figures backslid a bit from March’s totals. The surplus dipped by 2.42 percent, from $21.91 billion to $21.37 billion.

>Exports fell by 0.41 percent, from $63.00 billion to $62.74 billion, and imports inched up by 0.65 percent, from $41.09 billion to $41.36 billion.

>Outside the energy and services sector, American trade’s performance was less impressive. In particular, the Made in Washington portion of the trade deficit – in non-oil goods, which are heavily affected by U.S. trade policy – rose by 3.19 percent, from $52.73 billion to $54.42 billion.

>In constant-dollar terms – those used to calculate the most widely followed economic growth figure – the Made in Washington trade deficit rose by 3.39 percent, from $53.67 billion to $55.50 billion.

>In fact, the latest growth figures – for first quarter gross domestic product – show that the growth of the Made in Washington deficit has slowed the current feeble U.S. economic recovery by more than 20 percent in real terms.

>Current-dollar results outside the energy and services sectors were little better. The large, longstanding merchandise trade deficit with China rebounded by 16.30 percent, from a roughly two-year low of $20.90 billion to $24.31 billion.

>U.S. goods exports to China fell on month by 3.18 percent, while imports rose by 10.45 percent.

>Even worse was American merchandise trade with Korea, whose 2012 trade deal with the United States has been touted by the Obama administration as the model for its Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

>The goods deficit with Korea jumped by 11.10 percent sequentially in April, from $2.96 billion to a record $3.28 billion.

>U.S. merchandise exports to Korea sank by 14.98 percent, from $3.48 billion to $2.96 billion – their lowest level since February, 2010. U.S. goods imports from Korea fell as well, but only by 3.01 percent, from $6.44 billion to $6.25 billion.

>Since the trade deal with Korea went into effect, in March, 2012, the U.S. merchandise deficit is up by 4.85 percent.

>The also large and chronic U.S. manufacturing trade deficit increased in April – by 2.67 percent over March’s $62.97 billion level, to $64.65 billion.

>Manufacturing exports fell month on month by 4.87 percent, and the much greater amount of imports dropped by 1.82 percent.

>Through April, the manufacturing trade deficit is running 1.15 percent ahead of last year’s record pace, as exports have decreased by 7.49 percent and exports are down by 3.96 percent.

>The volatile high tech goods trade deficit surged in April by 43.93 percent – from $3.34 billion to $4.80 billion – after dropping by 35.07 percent the month before.

>High tech exports fell by 9.51 percent, from $31.52 billion to $28.52 billion, while imports decreased by 4.39 percent, from $34.86 billion to $33.33 billion.

>Combined goods and services exports rose by 1.46 percent on month in April, from $180.17 billion to $182.80 billion. The March exports figure was revised up by 2.01 percent,

>Combined goods and services imports 2.10 percent, from $215.71 billion to $220.23 billion. The March imports figure was revised down by 0.61 percent.

>The combined trade deficit is running 4.83 percent below last year’s January-through-April total.

>Total goods and services exports are down 5.11 percent year to date, while imports are 5.06 percent lower.

>The current-dollar non-oil goods deficit is running 3.78 percent higher than last year’s January-through-April total.

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