Trade deficit decreases in October

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By: Joe Kafchinski

Graph of October 2010 Trade Balance, -$38.7 Billion
The U.S. international trade deficit Latest U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services Report , as exports increased and imports decreased.  Exports increased 3.2% from September 2010 to $158.7 billion, and imports decreased 0.8% to $197.4 billion.

The increase in exports was driven by a $2.6 billion increase in exports of industrial supplies and materials and record-high $9.9 billion in exports of foods, feeds, and beverages.  Soybean exports were up $0.6 billion compared to September, and exports of fuel oil and natural gas both increased $0.5 billion in October.

For imports, a $2.3 billion decrease in imports of crude oil was mostly offset by smaller increases in several categories, including pharmaceutical preparations, cotton apparel, and gem diamonds.

Exports to China reached a record-high $9.3 billion in October, a $2.1 billion increase over September. The record-high exports combined with a slight drop in imports ($0.2 billion), led the trade deficit with China to decrease $2.3 billion in October to $25.5 billion. Exports to Mexico of $15.4 billion in October were also a record.

Through October, the 2010 trade deficit of $420.6 billion is 39.1% larger than the 2009 deficit through October ($302.5 billion). Exports have increased 17.0% to $1.51 trillion and imports have increased 21.2% to $1.93 trillion over the same time period.

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