Background

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services fell 4.8 percent in September from a 14-year high the previous month. Imports and exports both increased for the fourth straight month.

According to trade statistics released Nov. 4 by the Department of Commerce, the monthly trade deficit of $63.9 billion reflected a 2.6 percent increase in exports to $176.4 billion and a 0.5 percent rise in imports to $240.2 billion. The year-to-date deficit was up 8.6 percent from September 2019 as exports fell 17.4 percent and imports lost 12.4 percent.

The deficit in goods trade decreased 3.7 percent from August to $80.7 billion. Imports of goods edged up 0.3 percent to $203.5 billion, including increases of $2.4 billion in passenger cars and $800 million in capital goods along with decreases of $2.3 billion in cell phones and other household goods and $1.3 billion in industrial supplies and materials. Exports of goods were up 3.1 percent to $122.8 billion, including increases of $1.4 billion in soybeans, $400 million in telecommunications equipment, $300 million in industrial engines, and $200 million in computer accessories.

The services surplus saw a small increase of less than $0.1 billion on $16.8 billion. Imports rose 1.7 percent to $36.8 billion and exports climbed 1.3 percent to $53.6 billion.

Monthly changes in U.S. trade deficits or surpluses with specific trading partners in September included the following.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$24.3 billion

-8.0

 

 

European Union

$17.3 billion

+10.2

 

 

Mexico

$10.7 billion

-14.4

 

 

Germany

$5.6 billion

+21.7

 

 

Japan

$5.6 billion

+30.2

 

 

Italy

$2.7 billion

+3.8

 

 

India

$2.7 billion

+17.4

 

 

South Korea

$2.2 billion

0

 

 

Canada

$1.4 billion

+16.7

 

 

France

$1.1 billion

-50.0

 

 

South/Central America

 

 

$2.5 billion

+4.2

Hong Kong

 

 

$1.4 billion

-23.5

Brazil

 

 

$1.1 billion

+10.0

United Kingdom

 

 

$0.8 billion

-20.0

Saudi Arabia

 

 

$0.2 billion

0

Singapore

 

 

$0.3 billion

+200.0

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