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Oil imports inflate U.S. trade deficit to widest in nine months

Oil imports inflate U.S. trade deficit to widest in nine months

Good coming into the USA from China, Mexico and the European Union all hit record levels, which boosted the trade gap to $48.7 billion - from $44.9 billion in September- and is the highest since President Trump took office in January. The deficit was also revised up in September, to $44.9 billion from $43.5 billion. October exports were $195.9 billion, down less than $0.1 billion from September exports. America's deficit means that it is importing more than it is exporting, which can hinder economic growth.

Meanwhile, imports fell 1.6 per cent to $45.9 billion in October, mainly due to a drop in motor vehicles and parts.

During his five-nation tour across Asia, the president promoted business deals in Japan, South Korea and China as ways to help lower trade deficits with major trading partners across the Pacific Rim.

It was the second straight month in which the United States trade gap widened, driven in part by goods imported from China of US$48.2 billion, an all-time high, bringing the U.S. trade deficit with that country to US$31.9 billion. Imports are up 6.5 percent the first 10 months of 2017.

Boosted by a weaker U.S. dollar, the October trade gap rose 8.6 per cent compared to September, to US$48.7 billion, the highest since January, surpassing analyst expectations for an increase of only 5.6 per cent.

Economists had expected a deficit of $2.7 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Apart from the $1.5-billion increase in crude oil imports, the higher US import bill was due to the highest on record imports of food, feeds, and beverages, and the highest on record non-petroleum imports. Imports of drilling and oilfield equipment climbed by $304 million, and imports of cellphones rose by $303 million.

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