Trade Deficit Surges on Export Decline
Trade statistics released Nov. 4 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. trade deficit expanded by 7.5 percent in September to $43.0 billion after four straight months of decline. Exports fell 1.5 percent to $195.6 billion while imports edged up to $238.6 billion. Compared to a year earlier, the September trade deficit was down 1.9 percent as exports grew 2.8 percent and imports rose 2.6 percent.
The monthly deficit in goods trade grew by 4.0 percent to $62.7 billion. Exports of goods were down 1.9 percent to $136.1 billion while imports slipped slightly to $198.7 billion. The services surplus lost 3.0 percent to $19.6 billion as exports edged downward 0.7 percent to $59.5 billion and imports inched ahead 0.5 percent to $39.9 billion.
With respect to individual trading partners, the U.S. saw its largest ever monthly trade deficit with China (up 17.9 percent to $35.6 billion) as well as larger deficits with the European Union (up 7.3 percent to $11.8 billion), Japan (up 12.8 percent to $5.3 billion), Mexico (up 9.1 percent to $4.8 billion), Canada (up 56 percent to $3.9 billion), Ireland (up 13.6 percent to $2.5 billion), South Korea (up 22.2 percent to $2.2 billion), India (up 10.5 percent to $2.1 billion), Saudi Arabia (up 33.3 percent to $2.0 billion) and Venezuela (up 15.4 percent to $1.5 billion). The deficit with Germany fell 14.1 percent to $6.1 billion.
The U.S. continued to run trade surpluses with Hong Kong (up 21.4 percent to $3.4 billion), Singapore (down 10 percent to $0.9 billion), Australia (unchanged at $1.4 billion), and Brazil (up 3.2 percent to $986 million).