US Trade Deficit Highest in 7 Months


The U.S. trade deficit widened to USD 54.0 billion in September 2018 from an upwardly revised USD 53.3 billion in the previous month and compared with market expectations of a USD 53.6 billion gap. It is the highest deficit in 7 months as imports rose to a record high.

Total exports increased 1.5 percent month-over-month to USD 212.6 billion in September, as exports of goods rose USD 2.9 billion and exports of services increased USD 0.3 billion. Sales of goods mostly reflected gains in industrial supplies and materials (USD 2.8 billion) and in capital goods (USD 1.1 billion). On the other hand, sales dropped for foods, feeds, and beverages (USD -1.0 billion). The increase in exports of services was mainly due to transport ($0.2 billion).

Total imports advanced 1.5 percent to USD 266.6 billion, hitting a record high. Purchases of goods went up USD 3.5 billion and imports of services rose USD 0.4 billion. Purchases of goods were driven mainly by capital goods (USD 2.4 billion) and consumer (USD 2.0 billion). Meanwhile, imports fell for automotive vehicles, parts, and engines (USD -0.6 billion).

According to unadjusted data, exports rose to the EU (6.0 percent), China (5.3 percent) and Japan (1.6 percent) while declined to Canada (-3.3 percent), Mexico (-4.3 percent), Brazil (-8.9 percent) and OPEC (-5 percent). Imports increased from China (4.5 percent) and OPEC (5.5 percent) while it dropped from Canada (-5.8 percent), Mexico (-6.3 percent), the EU (-8.5 percent), Japan (-16 percent) and Brazil (-20.7 percent).

The goods trade deficit with China jumped 4.3 percent to a record high of USD 40.2 billion. The trade gap also rose with the EU (-32.2 percent to USD 10.65 billion) and OPEC (+45.2 percent to USD 1.98 billion) but declined with Japan (+34.7 percent to USD 3.93 billion), Canada (-30.5 percent to USD 1.81 billion) and Mexico (-11.3 percent to USD 7.72 billion). 

Considering the first nine months of the year, the goods and services deficit went up 10.1 percent, with exports rising 8.2 percent and imports 8.6 percent. The US trade deficit increased with all main trading partners except Japan (-2.2 percent to USD 50.024 billion): China (+9.9 percent to USD 301.368); the EU (+13.4 percent to USD 121.506 billion); Mexico (+13.5 percent to USD 59.986 bilion); Canada (+28.1 percent to USD 15.638 billion) and OPEC (+70 percent to USD 17.713 billion). 


US Trade Deficit Highest in 7 Months


BEA | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
11/2/2018 1:20:31 PM