Air Freight News

US trade gap shrinks for first time since July on export surge

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in October for the first time since July, reflecting a sharp increase in exports and suggesting that foreign demand for goods is on the rise.

The gap in trade of goods and services shrank 17% to $67.1 billion, from a revised $81.4 billion in September, according to Commerce Department data released Tuesday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists was for a shortfall of $66.8 billion.

The value of goods and services exported rose 8.1% to $223.6 billion in October, the highest on record. The increase was led by stronger outbound shipments of industrial supplies such as crude oil.

Imports meanwhile, climbed 0.9% to $290.7 billion—also a record—led by shipments of automotive-vehicle parts and engines.

The value of goods exports surged the most since July 2020 to a record $158.7 billion.

The increase in merchandise exports suggests that overseas economies are slowly recovering and demanding more goods from the U.S. That could suggest that trade puts less of a drag on U.S. economic growth in the coming months, after it subtracted 1.16 percentage points from gross domestic product in the third quarter.

Even so, lean inventories, snarled supply chains and transportation challenges continue to make it difficult for U.S. producers to meet demand for finished goods and supplies.

Digging Deeper

  • The merchandise-trade deficit, which strips out services spending, fell to $83.9 billion, the smallest since October 2020
  • The nation’s surplus in services trade increased for a second straight month to $16.8 billion
  • Travel imports, a measure of Americans traveling abroad, rose for an eighth month to a pandemic high of $6.38 billion. Travel exports—or spending by visitors to the U.S.—climbed for a second month, reaching $5.83 billion after the Biden administration lifted travel restrictions on Nov. 8
  • On an inflation-adjusted basis, the October merchandise-trade deficit narrowed to $97.6 billion, the smallest this year


© Bloomberg
The author’s opinion are not necessarily the opinions of the American Journal of Transportation (AJOT).

Similar Stories

US recovery sends Mexican exports soaring to record levels

Mexico’s exports surged to a record of nearly half a trillion dollars last year as the U.S. recovery boosted demand for cars, chemicals and machinery produced by its southern neighbor.

View Article
Gross domestic product, fourth quarter and year 2021 (advance estimate)
View Article
US durable goods orders post first decline in three months

Orders placed with U.S. factories for durable goods fell in December for the first time in three months, pointing to a pause in capital investment at the close of the…

View Article
India to curb smart meter imports to boost domestic industry

India plans to discourage imports of smart meters as the country pushes for domestic manufacturing of the equipment and cut shipments from China.

View Article
Swiss watch exports hit record as US becomes top market
View Article
EU launches WTO case against China over Lithuania blockade

The European Union took China to the World Trade Organization on Thursday over its coercive practices against Lithuania and some exporters from other member states.

View Article