The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services hit a second straight all-time high in September, soaring 11.1 percent to $80.9 billion. According to statistics from the Department of Commerce, imports edged up 0.6 percent to a record $288.5 billion while exports plummeted 3.0 percent to $207.6 billion.

The year-to-date deficit was up 33.1 percent from September 2020 as exports increased 17.4 percent and imports were up 21.1 percent.

The deficit in goods trade grew 10.0 percent in September to $98.2 billion. Imports of goods rose 0.8 percent to $240.9 billion, including increases of $1.8 billion in cell phones and other household goods, $1.2 billion in computers, and $900 million in organic chemicals along with decreases of $1.7 billion in passenger cars, $1.3 billion in pharmaceutical preparations, and $700 million in gem diamonds.

Exports of goods tumbled 4.7 percent to $142.7 billion, including decreases of $1.9 billion in non-monetary gold, $1.0 billion in crude oil, and $900 million in precious metals along with a $1.5 billion increase in pharmaceutical preparations.

The services surplus reversed course and grew 4.9 percent to $17.2 billion, with imports down 0.4 percent to $47.6 billion and exports up 0.9 percent to $64.9 billion.



% Change


% Change


$31.5 billion




European Union

$18.7 billion





$8.8 billion





$5.7 billion





$5.0 billion





$4.7 billion




South Korea

$3.8 billion





$3.8 billion





$3.5 billion





$2.6 billion





$1.8 billion




Saudi Arabia

$0.5 billion




United Kingdom

$0.1 billion

Shift from $0.8 billion surplus




<$0.1 billion

Shift from $1.0 billion surplus



South/Central America



$3.8 billion


Hong Kong



$1.5 billion





$1.2 billion



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