Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- International Trade
In September, the U.S. trade deficit contracted by $2.3 billion to $41.5 billion, a decrease from August’s downwardly revised $43.8 billion deficit ($44.2 billion, previously). Both imports and exports increased after posting simultaneous declines for the past two month. Given previous weakness in imports and exports and the global slowdown, the consensus forecast had predicted an expansion of the deficit to $45.0 billion. September’s contraction to $41.5 billion, with both imports and exports growing, was largely unexpected. Imports rose 1.5 percent to $228.5 billion, marking the first month-over-month increase since March of this year. Driving the gains were rising petroleum prices (up 4.6 percent) as well as strength in capital goods (up 1.2 percent) and consumer goods (up 6.3 percent). At 3.1 percent, exports posted the highest month-over-month gain for the year as they rose to a level of $187.0 billion. On a year-over-year basis, imports rose 1.5 percent in September, up from August’s 0.9 percent yearly gain. Exports increased 3.5 percent on a yearly basis after rising just 1.7 percent the month prior.