U.S. Trade Deficit Widens Amid Escalating Trade War
The U.S. trade deficit widened more than forecast in September to a seven-month high as imports expanded and the merchandise gap with China hit a record amid an escalating tariff war.
The gap for goods and services increased 1.3% from the prior month to $54 billion, Commerce Department data showed Friday. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a deficit of $53.6 billion. Imports and exports both rose 1.5%.
The monthly report provides details around third-quarter data released last week that showed trade imposed the biggest drag on growth in 33 years amid tariffs on China and counter-levies by the Asian nation.
Overall exports rose to $212.6 billion, including gains in petroleum products, gold, oil and aircraft. Imports increased to $266.6 billion, boosted by a range of capital and commercial goods. The overall trade gap for goods increased to $76.3 billion, also a record and in line with the preliminary figure last week.
The unadjusted merchandise trade gap with China, the world’s second-biggest economy, widened to $40.2 billion from $38.6 billion.