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Trade Deficit Tumbles as Exports Gain, Oil Imports Continue to Decline

Thursday, November 05, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods and services plunged 15 percent in September to $40.8 billion, its lowest level since February, according to trade statistics released Nov. 4 by the Department of Commerce. Imports fell 1.8 percent to $228.7 billion while exports gained 1.6 percent to $187.9 billion. However, press reports note that the improvement in exports is expected to be short-lived and that the U.S. trade deficit with China is up 8.4 percent so far this year.

The goods deficit dropped 10.8 percent in September to $60.3 billion. Imports of goods were down 2.3 percent to $187.6 billion as imports of crude oil fell $1.3 billion to a ten-year low, due in part to continuing declines in both prices and volumes, and imports of civilian aircraft declined $600 million. Exports of goods gained 2.3 percent to $127.3 billion, including increases of $500 million for artwork, antiques and stamps, $300 million for jewelry and $900 million for capital goods.

The services surplus slipped 0.5 percent to $19.5 billion. Imports were up $100 million to $41.1 billion and exports gained $100 million to $60.6 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$30.7 billion

-6.7

European Union

$13.1 billion

-9.7

Germany

$5.7 billion

-16.2

Japan

$5.5 billion

+5.8

Mexico

$5.4 billion

+1.9

Italy

$2.3 billion

+9.5

India

$2.0 billion

+5.2

South Korea

$1.8 billion

-33.3

Canada

$1.7 billion

-22.7

France

$1.3 billion

-35.0

United Kingdom

$1.2 billion

+300

South/Central America

$3.6 billion

+9.0

Brazil

$0.2 billion

Change from $0.2 billion deficit

Saudi Arabia

$0.2 billion

Change from < $0.1 billion deficit

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