The US trade deficit was 418 billion in September exceeding the threemonth moving average of 397 billion

US Trade Deficit Widened in September

Nov. 14, 2013
Growth in manufacturing exports 'remains frustratingly slow.'

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services increased to $41.8 billion in September from a revised $38.7 billion in August, the Commerce Department reported today. Analysts had expected a smaller $39 billion shortfall.

Exports decreased to $188.9 billion in September from $189.3 billion in August. Imports increased to $230.7 billion in September from $228.0 billion in August, the government announced.

For the first three quarters of 2013, the trade deficit has narrowed to $359.5 billion from $407.2 billion in 2012.

Goods exports in September were $132.1 billion, a slight drop from August, while goods imports rose to $193.4 billion from $190.6 billion in August. For the first nine months of 2013, the U.S. is running a $532.7 billion deficit in the trade of goods, though trade exports have risen nearly $12 billion for the year.

Growth in manufactured goods exports “remains frustratingly slow,” Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, commented on NAM’s Shopfloor blog.

“There were $883.1 billion in manufactured goods exports through the first nine months of 2013, up only 1.5% over the $869.7 billion in the same time period in 2012,” Moutray noted. “This news continues to be disappointing, especially relative to the 5.7% growth rate experienced in all of 2012 and the 15% rate required to meet the president’s goals of doubling exports by 2015.”

The deficit in advanced technology products climbed from $5.8 billion in August to $8.1 billion in September. Advanced technology exports have grown faster than imports so far in 2013, resulting in the trade deficit through September falling to $56.2 billion from $64.1 billion for the same period in 2012.

The U.S. trade deficit with China in September increased to $30.4 billion from $29.8 billion in August. For the first nine months of 2013, the deficit with China stands at $238.1 billion.

“The manufacturing-dominated China goods deficit is now running 2.72% [ahead] of last year’s annual record level, even though President Obama and many others claim that China has recently lost considerable manufacturing competitiveness versus the United States,” said economist Alan Tonelson, a research fellow with the U.S. Business and Industry Council.

About the Author

Steve Minter | Steve Minter, Executive Editor

Focus: Leadership, Global Economy, Energy

Call: 216-931-9281

Follow on Twitter: @SgMinterIW

An award-winning editor, Executive Editor Steve Minter covers leadership, global economic and trade issues and energy, tackling subject matter ranging from CEO profiles and leadership theories to economic trends and energy policy. As well, he supervises content development for editorial products including the magazine,, research and information products, and conferences.

Before joining the IW staff, Steve was publisher and editorial director of Penton Media’s EHS Today, where he was instrumental in the development of the Champions of Safety and America’s Safest Companies recognition programs.

Steve received his B.A. in English from Oberlin College. He is married and has two adult children.

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!