Trade Deficit Worsens as Exports Fall, Imports Rise


The U.S. international trade deficit expanded for September, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens in PDF) released today.

The total deficit worsened 8%, to $41.8 billion. Analysts had expected a smaller expansion from August's revised $38.7 billion deficit to $39.1 billion.

It was the largest trade gap since May and marked the third straight month that the deficit has risen since hitting a four-year low in June.

Deficits worsen when exports decrease, or expand relatively less than imports. September's results show a slight $0.4 billion decrease in exports, as well as a $2.7 billion jump in imports.


Services remain in surplus for the U.S., although September brought a $0.1 billion decline to $19.5 billion in total. Goods didn't do quite as well, with a $3.0 billion deficit increase to $61.3 billion. A $1.3 billion decline in industrial supplies and materials exports contributed to the widening deficit, as did a concurrent $0.9 billion increase in imports of the same goods.

The U.S. currently enjoys its largest trade surplus for goods with Hong Kong ($3.2 billion), while a $30.5 billion deficit with China (an all-time high) remains the largest trade gap.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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