U.S. Trade Deficit Widens in October

11 Dec

The U.S. trade deficit increased 4.9% in October to $42.2 billion, as imports of crude oil rose and American exports of manufactured goods fell to the lowest level in nearly a year.

Imports of foreign goods into the U.S. declined by 2.1% to $222.8 billion in October, but exports fell by 3.6% to $180.5 billion to account for the wider trade gap, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

U.S. manufacturers are not selling as many goods overseas because of tougher economic conditions in key markets such as Europe. American companies exported fewer industrial supplies, capital goods and food in October. Falling imports, meanwhile, reflect a softer U.S. economy.

The export value of U.S. goods — items such as autos, chemicals or electronics — dropped to the lowest level since November 2011. It fell to a seasonally adjusted $127.5 billion from $133.9 billion in the prior month.

At the same time, though, imports of foreign goods tumbled to the lowest level since April 2011. Americans mainly reduced their purchases of foreign-made consumer goods in October.

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