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Trade Deficit Sees Unexpected Rise as Imports and Exports Both Fall

Monday, December 07, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods and services rose 3.3 percent in October to $43.9 billion, according to trade statistics released Dec. 4 by the Department of Commerce. Imports slipped 0.6 percent to $228.0 billion and exports fell 1.4 percent to a three-year low of $184.1 billion due to weaker foreign demand and a strong U.S. dollar. Year-to-date the deficit has risen 5.3 percent on declines of 4.3 percent for exports and 2.6 percent for imports.

The goods deficit gained 1.6 percent in October to $63.1 billion. Imports of goods were down 0.5 percent to $186.8 billion as imports of crude oil fell $1.1 billion and imports of food, feeds and beverages lost $400 million. Exports of goods were down 2.4 percent to $123.8 billion, their lowest level since June 2011, including decreases of $500 million for industrial engines and $400 million for fuel oil.

The services surplus gained 3.2 percent to $19.2 billion. Imports were down $200 million to $41.1 billion but exports gained $400 million to $60.3 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$30.2 billion

-1.6

European Union

$13.3 billion

+1.5

Mexico

$6.3 billion

+16.7

Germany

$6.2 billion

+8.8

Japan

$5.3 billion

-3.6

Italy

$2.3 billion

0

South Korea

$2.3 billion

+27.8

India

$2.0 billion

0

France

$1.7 billion

+30.8

Canada

$0.2 billion

-88.2

Brazil

$0.2 billion

Change from $0.2 billion surplus

Saudi Arabia

< $0.1 billion

Change from $0.2 billion surplus

South/Central America

$2.8 billion

-22.2

United Kingdom

$0.6 billion

Change from $1.2 billion deficit

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