International trade will continue to weigh on U.S. GDP growth, economists say
The U.S. international trade deficit for goods and services surged 11.2% in September to a record $80.9 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal has forecast a trade gap of $81 billion. The nation’s trade gap was $41.6 billion in February 2020.
Last week, the government released the deficit in goods alone for September, showing a surge in imports, giving analysts a good gauge of the total deficit. The services deficit widened 4.8% to $17.2 billion in September.
Total exports of goods and services fell 3% to $207.6 billion in September. Imports rose 0.6% to $288.5 billion.
Subtracting the impact of inflation, the real goods deficit increased $9.5 billion to $111 billion in September.
The trade deficit with China widened $3.4 billion to $31.5 billion. Exports to China have fallen for four straight months.
Analysts expect the deficit to narrow once consumers redirect spending toward in-person services and away from goods. But this transition has been slow to come.
Trade flows continue to be distorted by supply chain disruptions and shortages, noted Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.
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