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Trade Deficit Surges as Exports Tumble, Imports Rise

Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods and services jumped 15.6 percent in August to $48.3 billion, according to trade statistics released Oct. 6 by the Department of Commerce. Imports climbed 1.2 percent to $233.4 billion while exports slumped 2.0 percent to $185.1 billion, the lowest level in nearly three years. Press reports indicate that the drop in exports is attributable to the increasing value of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies and weak demand abroad as major trade partners continue to struggle economically.

The goods deficit soared 10.8 percent in August to $67.9 billion. Imports of goods were up 1.3 percent to $192.4 billion as imports of cell phones and other household goods gained $2.1 billion and imports of toys, games and sporting goods saw a $300 million increase. Exports of goods plummeted 3.2 percent to $124.5 billion, including declines of $600 million for fuel oil, $200 million for plastic materials and $200 million for crude oil.

The services surplus rose 0.5 percent to $19.6 billion. Imports were up $300 million to $41.1 billion and exports gained $400 million to $60.6 billion.

Country/Region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$32.9 billion

+14.2

European Union

$14.5 billion

+16.9

Germany

$6.8 billion

+13.3

Mexico

$5.3 billion

+39.5

Japan

$5.2 billion

-3.7

Korea

$2.7 billion

+22.7

Canada

$2.2 billion

+4.8

Italy

$2.1 billion

-8.7

France

$2.0 billion

+81.8

India

$1.9 billion

-5.0

United Kingdom

$0.3 billion

Change from $0.3 bn surplus

Brazil

$0.2 billion

Change from $0.2 bn surplus

Saudi Arabia

< $0.1 billion

-80

South/Central America

$3.3 billion

+26.9

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