Economic Report: U.S. trade deficit jumps 5% to four-month high as global economy weakens

by | Dec 6, 2022 | Stock Market

The numbers: The nation’s trade deficit rose 5.4% in October to a four-month high of $78.2 billion, reflecting a small decline in the appetite for American goods and services as the global economy weakens. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a $80 billion shortfall. The deficit widened from $74.1 billion in September.

Key details: Exports declined for the second month in a row after reaching a record high in August. They slipped 0.7% to $256.6 billion. Exports have been hurt by slower economic growth in other countries and a strong dollar that’s made American goods and services more expensive. The falling cost of oil has also reduced the amount of money generated by U.S. energy producers. Softer economic growth tends to depress demand for oil and gas. In October, the value of energy exports declined, as did shipments of drugs and consumer goods. Imports rose 0.6% to $334.8 billion, but they are well off March’s all-time high. Americans are spending a bit less on goods and minding their money given talk of recession. The U.S. imported more oil, metals and nuclear materials in October. The trade deficit has had an unusually large effect this year on gross domestic prod …

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