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U.S. Trade Deficit Is Down

The U.S. trade deficit declined to $67.12 billion in October, down from $81.44 billion in September, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The decrease represents a six-month low.

Exports and imports: Goods exports rose to $158.73 billion in October, an increase from $142.91 billion in September. Good imports increased to $242.67 billion from $240.89 billion in the same period.

  • The service-sector trade surplus has improved, too, and in October was at $16.83 billion, up from $15.97 billion in August (the lowest since December 2011) and $16.55 billion in September.

Industry-specific increases: Goods exports rose sharply for industrial supplies and materials (up $6.45 billion), non-automotive capital goods (up $3.07 billion), foods, feeds and beverages (up $2.06 billion), consumer goods (up $1.64 billion) and automotive vehicles, parts and engines (up $1.55 billion).

The NAM says: “There have been wide swings in the trade statistics in recent months, so it is important not to make too much of one month,” cautioned NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray. “At the same time, it is clear that the global economy is rebounding after a very challenging year and a half, with goods exports and imports both hitting new highs in October. More importantly, goods exports have jumped 20.7% year to date, with goods imports rising 12.2% over the past 10 months.

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