US Trade Deficit at 9-Month High

The US trade deficit widened to USD 48.7 billion in October of 2017 from an upwardly revised USD 44.9 billion gap in September and above market expectations of USD 47.5 billion. It is the highest trade shortfall in nine months as imports jumped 1.6 percent to a record high boosted by purchases of crude oil, food, cellphones and other goods while exports were flat.

Exports were at USD 195.91 billion, down less than USD 0.1 billion from September. Exports of goods decreased USD 0.3 billion to USD 130.3 billion: foods, feeds, and beverages fell USD 1.3 billion; soybeans decreased USD 1.4 billion; capital goods declined USD 1.2 billion and civilian aircraft went down 1.1 billion while those of industrial supplies and materials increased USD 2.6 billion. Exports of services rose USD 0.3 billion to USD 65.6 billion, due to financial services (+USD 0.1 billion); other business services, which includes research and development services; professional and management services; and technical, trade-related, and other services (+USD 0.1 billion). 

Imports jumped 1.6 percent to a record high of USD 244.64 billion. Imports of goods increased USD 3.5 billion to USD 199.4 billion, mainly industrial supplies and materials (+USD 1.8 billion); crude oil (+USD 1.5 billion); other goods (+USD 1.1 billion); consumer goods (+USD 0.8 billion); cell phones and other household goods increased (+USD 0.3 billion). Imports of services rose USD 0.3 billion to USD 45.2 billion, mainly due to transport (+USD 0.3 billion). 

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, exports declined to Canada (-0.8 percent), Japan (-5.9 percent) and OPEC (-15.7 percent), but rose to Mexico (10.1 percent) to the highest in three years; China (20 percent) to the highest since December of 2013; the EU (5.8 percent) and Brazil (12.4 percent). Imports jumped from China (6.1 percent), hitting a record high; Canada (5.8 percent); Mexico (11.4 percent), also reaching the highest on record; Japan (11.5 percent); the EU (10.4 percent); OPEC (24.8 percent) and Brazil (3.8 percent). As a result, the US trade deficit widened with all main trading partners: China (USD -35.22 billion from USD -34.64 billion), the EU (USD -13.72 billion from USD -11.43 billion); Mexico (USD -6.6 billion from USD -5.7 billion); Japan (USD -6.43 billion from USD -4.8 billion) and Canada (USD -1.85 billion from USD -0.25 billion). The trade balance with OPEC switched to a USD 1.42 billion deficit from a USD 0.63 billion surplus. 

US Trade Deficit at 9-Month High

BEA | Joana Taborda |
12/5/2017 2:14:17 PM