Trade Deficit Decreases in October

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By: Joe Kafchinski


U.S. Trade in October

Decreases in both exports and imports led to the Nation’s international trade deficit in goods and services decreasing to $43.5 billion in October from $44.2 billion (revised) in September. Exports decreased $1.5 billion to $179.2 billion in October and imports decreased $2.2 billion to $222.6 billion.

The decrease in imports was primarily due to decreases in imports of crude oil (down $1.5 billion) and passenger cars (down $0.7 billion). Imports from China rose $1.4 billion in October to a record $37.8 billion, eclipsing the previous record of $37.4 billion set two months ago. Exports to China reached their highest level so far in 2011, at $9.7 billion. The record for exports to China in a single month is $10.1 billion, set in December 2010.

Despite the overall decrease in exports, October saw record exports of petroleum at $10.4 billion. October’s Graph of the Month looks at the increase since January 2009 of two categories of petroleum: Fuel Oil and Other Petroleum Products (basically, petroleum products except crude oil, fuel oil, and natural gas liquids.) Since January 2009, fuel oil exports have increased 198%, from $1.692 billion to $5.042 billion in October 2011. Other Petroleum Products have grown even more, up 256%, from $1.452 billion to $5.072 billion.

Click the image below for an interactive version of the graph.


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