U.S. Trade Gap Up Due to Import Surge

Trade deficit up 18% in September

Imports pushed up the trade deficit by 18% in September, official data showed on Nov. 13 in a sign of improving trade flows and a healing global economy.

The goods and services trade gap rose to $36.5 billion, the highest since January, from a revised $30.8 billion in August, the Commerce Department reported. The report showed a rise in both imports and exports, underscoring an improvement in trade flows that had fallen with the global economic slump.

Total September exports were up nearly 3% to $132 billion while imports amounted to $168.4 billion, rising by a hefty 5.8% in the biggest percentage increase since March 1993.

The August to September increase in exports of goods reflected increases in capital goods ($1.7 billion); industrial supplies and materials ($1.4 billion); consumer goods ($0.5 billion); automotive vehicles, parts and engines ($0.2 billion); and other goods ($0.2 billion). A decrease occurred in foods, feeds and beverages ($0.4 billion).

The August to September increase in imports of goods reflected increases in industrial supplies
and materials ($5.5 billion); automotive vehicles, parts and engines ($1.7 billion); capital
goods ($0.8 billion); consumer goods ($0.7 billion); and other goods ($0.5 billion). Foods,
feeds and beverages were virtually unchanged.

The September 2008 to September 2009 decrease in exports of goods reflected decreases in industrial supplies and materials ($5.2 billion); capital goods ($5.1 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($2.6 billion); foods, feeds, and beverages ($1.5 billion); consumer goods ($0.7 billion); and other goods ($0.3 billion).

The September 2008 to September 2009 decrease in imports of goods reflected decreases in industrial supplies and materials ($22.9 billion); capital goods ($7.6 billion); consumer goods ($4.6 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($2.2 billion); foods, feeds and beverages ($0.8 billion); and other goods ($0.5 billion).

Data also showed that the trade gap with China reached its highest level in nearly a year, at $22.1 billion from the previous month's $20.2 billion.

TAGS: The Economy
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