U.S. Trade Deficit Widens in October
The U.S. trade deficit widened 3.4 percent in October to $43.9 billion as exports fell to their lowest level in three years amid a slowing global economy and a strong dollar, according to the latest figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Goods exports dropped 1.4 percent to $184.1 billion as overseas sales of all categories—from industrial supplies and materials to capital goods, automobiles and consumer goods—fell to a five-year low, while services exports, including transportation and financial services, increased modestly.
At the same time, the strong dollar boosted American consumers’ buying power, forcing the volume of imports down 0.6 percent to $228.0 billion.
The October widening of the deficit came as the trade gap with China shrank about nine percent to $33.0 billion, while trade balance with Canada, the U.S.’s largest trading partner, produced a modest surplus of $252 million after a $2.1 billion deficit in September.
The trade gap with the 28-nation European Union jumped 12.7 percent to $13.3 billion as the two trade partners negotiate a broad free-trade pact.
Over the first 10 months of the year, the trade gap rose to $22.2 billion, a gain of 5.3 percent from the same period in 2014.
According to analysts, the volume of exports generated during the period declined faster than that of imports as the strong dollar made exports relatively more expensive and lackluster global growth weakened demand.