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Trade Deficit increased in September to $41.8 Billion

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The Department of Commerce reported this morning:

[T]otal September exports of 8.9 billion and imports of 0.7 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of .8 billion, up from .7 billion in August, revised. September exports were .4 billion less than August exports of 9.3 billion. September imports were .7 billion more than August imports of 8.0 billion.

The trade deficit was larger than the consensus forecast of .9 billion.

The first graph shows the monthly U.S. exports and imports in dollars through September 2013.

U.S. Trade Exports Imports Click on graph for larger image.

Imports increased and exports decreased slightly in September.  

Exports are 14% above the pre-recession peak and up 1% compared to September 2012; imports are just below the pre-recession peak, and up about 1% compared to September 2012 (mostly moving sideways).

The second graph shows the U.S. trade deficit, with and without petroleum, through September.

U.S. Trade Deficit The blue line is the total deficit, and the black line is the petroleum deficit, and the red line is the trade deficit ex-petroleum products.

Oil averaged 2.00 in September, up from 0.26 in July, and up from .90 in September 2012.  Prices will probably decline in October and November.  The petroleum deficit increased in September, but has generally been declining and is the major reason the overall deficit has declined since early 2012.

The trade deficit with China increased to .5 billion in September, up from .1 billion in September 2012.  A majority of the trade deficit is due to China.
Calculated Risk

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