U.S. exports set a new monthly record in July of $178 billion, which was increase of more than 15% from a year ago, and a 3.6% increase from June (see top chart above, full report here). Export categories that showed especially strong gains in July included industrial supplies (+29.3% from a year ago), capital goods (+8.8%), and automotive vehicles (+29.1%), and all three of these manufacturing categories set new monthly records in July.
Total trade in July was above $400 billion for only the second time ever, and just shy of the record $401.5 billion total trade in May of this year (see bottom chart above).
The record-setting level of exports in July, along with a near-record volume of total trade, suggest that both the U.S. and global economies are continuing to expand, and the robust trade levels do not support a pending double-dip recession. U.S. exports of industrial supplies, capital goods and vehicles, all at record levels in July, indicate an ongoing strength in U.S. manufacturing.