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Trade Deficit Soars as Farm Goods Exports Fall, Imports of Drugs and High-Tech Goods Rise

Thursday, December 08, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Trade statistics released Dec. 6 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. monthly trade deficit in goods and services jumped 17.7 percent in October, its biggest gain since March 2015, after a 10.1 percent drop in September. Exports were down 1.8 percent to $186.4 billion while imports rose 1.3 percent to $229.0 billion. However, for the year to date the deficit is down 2.1 percent from 2015 due to a 2.9 percent decline in imports offsetting a 3.1 percent decrease in exports.

The goods deficit increased 11.2 percent to $63.4 billion in October. Imports of goods were up 1.5 percent to $186.5 billion, including increases of $700 million in pharmaceutical preparations, $600 million in computer accessories, and $400 million in cell phones and other household goods. Exports of goods were down 2.8 percent to $123.1 billion, including decreases of $1 billion in soybeans and $500 million each in corn, fuel oil, and nonmonetary gold.

The services surplus slipped 0.5 percent to $20.8 billion. Imports were down 2.3 percent to $42.0 billion and exports rose 0.6 percent to $63.1 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$28.9 billion

+7.4

European Union

$12.9 billion

+10.3

Mexico

$5.8 billion

+20.8

 

Japan

$5.8 billion

+7.4

   

Germany

$4.7 billion

-11.3

   

India

$2.4 billion

+9.1

   

Italy

$2.2 billion

-21.4

Canada

$1.7 billion

+325

France

$1.6 billion

+100

   

South Korea

$1.4 billion

Unchanged

Taiwan

$1.0 billion

+100

   

United Kingdom

$0.7 billion

Shift from $0.9 billion surplus

Saudi Arabia

$0.2 billion

+100

   

Hong Kong

$2.6 billion

+4.0

South/Central America

$1.8 billion

Unchanged

Singapore

   

$1.3 billion

+85.7

Brazil

$0.1 billion

-66.7

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