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US October Trade Deficit Widens Further on Decline in Exports

Dec. 6, 2023
The overall trade gap of the world's biggest economy rose by 5.1% to $64.3 billion, the Commerce Department said in a statement.

The U.S. trade deficit continued to grow in October due to a fall in exports, according to government data published Wednesday.

The overall trade gap of the world's biggest economy rose by 5.1% to $64.3 billion, up from a revised $61.2 billion in September, the Commerce Department said in a statement.

October's widening trade deficit was the result of a $2.6 billion decline in the value of U.S. exports to the world, while imports rose by $500 million.

This was slightly below market expectations for the deficit to grow to $64.4 billion, according to Briefing.com.

Like much of the world, U.S. consumers and businesses have been grappling with higher interest rates since the COVID-19 pandemic, as policymakers have looked to tackle inflation by tightening monetary policy.

While these actions have had some success in slowing down inflation, they have also reduced demand for goods and services among consumers facing higher borrowing costs and elevated goods prices.

"The deficit remains about 45% wider than it was just ahead of the pandemic, though the process of normalization in the deficit is likely still in place," economists at Wells Fargo wrote in an investor note Wednesday.

"The outlook for trade flows going forward is likely one of moderation, given the trajectory for demand and growth will slow, both domestically and abroad," High Frequency Economics Chief U.S. Economist Rubeela Farooqi wrote in a note to clients.

The U.S. deficit in goods with China, the world's second-largest economy, declined slightly in October to $23.9 billion, down from $24.1 billion a month earlier, the Commerce Department said.

Copyright 2023, Agence France-Presse

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