US trade deficit widens to 7-month high in September

Published: November 03, 2018 11:55:31 | Updated: November 21, 2018 20:40:28

US trade deficit widened to a seven-month high in September as imports hit a record high and exports bounced back, the US Commerce Department has reported.

The goods and services deficit climbed to 54 billion US dollars in September from a revised 53.3 billion dollars in August, registering the biggest trade gap since February, the report said on Friday.

US imports rose 1.5 per cent to a record high of 266.6 billion dollars in September, and exports bounced back 1.5 per cent to 212.6 billion dollars after dropping for three consecutive months, reports Xinhua.

In September, soybean exports fell 29 per cent to 1.79 billion dollars, following a similar extent of decline in August, due to retaliatory tariffs from other trading partners on US agricultural products.

The trade deficit rose to 445 billion dollars in the first nine months this year, up 10.1 per cent from the same period in 2017, the report said.

Economists believe the country's long-time trade deficit resulted from its macroeconomic policies, and raising tariffs against imports is not the right way to reduce the deficit, which is likely to increase further because of the planned US fiscal stimulus.

A strong US dollar has also contributed to the widening of the trade deficit, and analysts predicted that the strengthening of the dollar is expected to impede exports.

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