U.S. trade deficit increases by 4.9% in October

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. trade deficit in October jumped by 4.9 per cent with increasing imports of crude oil and falling exports of American manufactured goods.

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday in Washington that the trade gap rose to $42.2bn from a revised September figure of $40.3bn, which is smaller than initially estimated.

U.S. imports of foreign goods fell by 2.1 per cent to $222.8bn in October, but accounting for the wider trade gap was the lower exports which declined by 3.6 per cent to $180.5bn, according to the Commerce Department.

The fall in exports may have been worsened by the Midwest drought that resulted to fall in soybean sales. Data, however, indicate that weakness was broad-based as slowing economies in Asia and Europe may have caused demand for American goods to plunge.

The value of U.S. exports, which included electronics, autos and chemicals fell to its lowest level in 12 months. The seasonally adjusted November figure of $127.5bn is lower than the previous month’s $133.9bn.

Falling imports, which impacts a range of goods from clothing to chemicals to electronics, may also be an indicator of slowing U.S. economic growth.

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