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Trade Deficit Down in September as Export Gains Outstrip Imports

Friday, November 11, 2011
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade statistics released Nov. 10 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. trade deficit in goods and services resumed a recent downward trend in September, falling 4% to $43.1 billion. Exports gained 1.4% to $177.9 billion after a slight decline in August, while imports edged up 0.3% to $222.8 billion after a small decrease the month before. Compared to a year earlier, the September trade deficit was down by $0.9 billion (compared to a $72 million gain in August) as exports increased by $2.47 billion (15.9%) and imports rose $23.8 billion (11.9%).

According to DOC, the goods trade deficit contracted by $2.0 billion in September (versus a $146 million gain in August) to $58.9 billion while the services surplus fell $0.2 billion to $15.8 billion. Exports of goods moved ahead $2.6 billion to $129.3 billion while imports increased $0.6 billion to $188.2 billion. Services exports fell $0.1 billion to $51.1 billion and imports saw a $0.1 billion rise to $35.3 billion.

The bilateral trade deficit with China declined 3.1% to $28.1 billion. Deficits were also down with the European Union (28.9% to $6.4 billion), Japan (22.4% to $5.2 billion), Mexico (9.1% to $5.0 billion), Germany (4.4% to $4.3 billion), Ireland (20.7% to $2.3 billion), Venezuela (33.3% to $2.0 billion), Nigeria (36.7% to $1.9 billion) and Taiwan (6.3% to $1.5 billion). Deficits increased with Canada (45.8% to $3.5 billion) and Korea (114% to $1.5 billion). The U.S. ran trade surpluses with Hong Kong ($4.3 billion, up 87.5%), Australia (unchanged at $1.4 billion), Singapore (up 33% to $1.3 billion) and Egypt (down 75% to $0.1 billion.)

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