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The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services fell 3.7 percent in September, according to trade statistics released Nov. 5 by the Department of Commerce. The monthly deficit of $52.5 billion reflected a 0.9 percent decrease in exports to $206.0 billion and a 1.7 percent decrease in imports to $258.4 billion. The deficit is up 5.4 percent for the year to date compared to the same period in 2018, with imports up 0.8 percent and exports down 0.4 percent, as the Trump administration’s trade restrictions continue to impact global trade patterns.
The deficit in goods trade was down 3.7 percent in September to $71.7 billion. Imports of goods dropped 2.1 percent to $208.6 billion, including decreases of $1.1 billion in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines, $800 million in cell phones and other household goods, and $600 million in toys, games, and sporting goods. Exports of goods fell 1.3 percent to $136.8 billion, including decreases of $1 billion in soybeans, $700 million in civilian aircraft, and $600 million in civilian aircraft engines.
The services surplus slipped 0.5 percent to $19.3 billion. Imports were up 0.2 percent to $49.9 billion while exports were down 0.1 percent to $69.2 billion.