Background

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services tumbled 7.6 percent in October, according to trade statistics released Dec. 5 by the Department of Commerce. The monthly deficit of $47.2 billion reflected a 0.2 percent decrease in exports to $207.1 billion and a 1.7 percent decrease in imports to $254.3 billion. The deficit is up 1.3 percent for the year to date compared to the same period in 2018, with imports up 0.2 percent and exports down less than 0.1 percent.

The deficit in goods trade was down 5.2 percent in October to $68.0 billion. Imports of goods dropped 2.2 percent to $204.1 billion, including decreases of $800 million each in pharmaceutical preparations and automotive parts and accessories, $500 million each in passenger cars and trucks, buses, and special purpose vehicles, and $400 million in cell phones and other household goods. Exports of goods fell 0.6 percent to $136.1 billion, including decreases of $600 million each in civilian aircraft engines and industrial supplies and materials and $400 million each in pharmaceutical preparations and gem diamonds.

The services surplus increased 1.0 percent to $20.8 billion after months of decline. Imports were up 0.2 percent to $50.2 billion while exports rose 0.4 percent to $71.1 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$27.8 billion

-0.1

   

European Union

$14.3 billion

-8.9

   

Mexico

$7.8 billion

-14.3

   

Germany

$5.0 billion

0

   

Japan

$4.9 billion

-14.1

   

Canada

$3.4 billion

+36.0

   

Italy

$2.6 billion

-13.3

   

India

$2.0 billion

0

   

France

$2.0 billion

+17.6

   

Taiwan

$1.6 billion

-23.8

   

South Korea

$1.5 billion

+25.0

   

South/Central America

   

$4.7 billion

-6.0

Hong Kong

   

$1.8 billion

-14.3

Brazil

   

$1.2 billion

+20.0

United Kingdom

   

$0.8 billion

+14.3

Singapore

   

$0.6 billion

-33.3

Saudi Arabia

   

$0.6 billion

+100.0

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