U.S. Trade Deficit Widens Amid Es­ca­lat­ing Trade War

The Bond Buyer - - Market News - — Bloomberg News

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.

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