October Trade Deficit Plagued by China and Oil Imports

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The U.S. trade deficit, also known as the international trade balance, rose by 4.9% to $42.24 billion in October. The Commerce Department reported that the September trade deficit was revised slightly lower to $40.28 billion. The deficit with China was running high, and fuel consumption and the cost component rose as well.

Bloomberg was calling for a $42.8 billion deficit and Dow Jones was calling for a consensus target of $42.1 billion for the month. Exports fell by almost $7 billion month-over-month to $180.51 billion, and imports fell by almost $5 billion month-over-month to $222.75 billion. The Commerce Department also showed that the October gap in trading with China was higher by about 1.4%, or a record $29.5 billion in October.

The deficit with Japan also rose, by a whopping 45% to $7 billion. Crude oil imports were on average $0.87 per barrel higher at $99.75 in October, with the tab rising to $25.9 billion from $24.4 billion the prior month.

The Commerce Department’s reading on International Trade is the monthly balance of tangible goods and services and broken out by exports and imports.

JON C. OGG