Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 34° Clear
News >  Business

U.S. trade deficit widens on greater imports, drop in exports

Dec. 6, 2022 Updated Tue., Dec. 6, 2022 at 2:53 p.m.

Toyota vehicles for export set at the dockyard in the IPC Car Terminal at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Dec. 10, 2021.   (Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg)
Toyota vehicles for export set at the dockyard in the IPC Car Terminal at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Dec. 10, 2021.  (Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg)
By Augusta Saraiva Bloomberg

The U.S. trade deficit widened for a second month in October, as the value of imports increased and exports declined, which may weigh on economic growth in the fourth quarter.

The trade gap in goods and services grew by $4 billion, or 5.4%, to $78.2 billion from a month earlier, Commerce Department data showed Tuesday.

The figures aren’t adjusted for inflation. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a widening to $80 billion.

The value of goods and services imports rose 0.6% to $334.8 billion, while exports declined 0.7% to $256.6 billion, according to the government.

The widening of the deficit in October – which expanded to the greatest margin since June – suggests a much more muted impact from trade on fourth-quarter gross domestic product after contributing the most since 1980 in the prior quarter.

Meanwhile, foreign demand for U.S. goods and services remains soft as many economies contend with persistent inflation and rising interest rates.

And even though the dollar has erased much of its advance this year in recent months, a strong currency is still making making U.S. goods more expensive for overseas customers.

On an inflation-adjusted basis, the October merchandise trade deficit increased to $112.6 billion, also the widest in four months.

Digging deeper:

• The nominal merchandise-trade deficit grew 6.5% to nearly $100 billion.

• Travel exports – or spending by visitors to the U.S. – increased in October by the most since April.

• Travel imports, a measure of Americans traveling abroad, rose to a fresh record high.

• The U.S. merchandise-trade deficit with China narrowed to the smallest since July 2021.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.