WASHINGTON – The United States’ trade deficit expanded to a seasonally adjusted $48.7 billion in October, an increase of $3.8 billion – or 8.6 percent – from the previous month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
The deficit in October was the highest level of the past nine months and was wider than economists, who had forecast a $47.5 billion trade gap, had anticipated.
The October figure was due to a higher average price of oil imports and a significant increase in imports of goods from China, Mexico and the European Union, combined with a decline in US exports of soybeans and civilian aircraft.
The Commerce Department also upwardly revised the September deficit figure to $44.9 billion.
US exports totaled $195.9 billion in October, around $100 million less than in September, while imports came in at $244.6 billion, up $3.8 billion from the previous month.
The US’s goods deficit increased by $3.8 billion to $69.1 billion, while its traditional services surplus fell by less than $100 million to $20.3 billion.
The US’s goods and services deficit has increased thus far this year by $49.1 billion, or 11.9 percent, relative to the same period of 2016.
Exports increased $97.5 billion, or 5.3 percent, over the year’s first 10 months, while imports rose $146.6 billion, or 6.5 percent, compared to the same period of 2016.