For the month of October, import consumption and export growth continued to fall, as weak worldwide economic growth wrecked havoc on international trade. According to the monthly trade balance report released by the Commerce Department, exports fell 2.2% in October, after a record $9.9 billion drop in September, to a seasonally-adjusted $151.7 billion. The number was worsened by a sudden drop in aircraft shipments, primarily due to the strike at Boeing.  Imports also fell, by 1.3%, with consumption of foreign goods falling to a seasonally-adjusted $208.9 billion. 

The trade deficit, net imports and exports, did increase though, slightly up to $57.2 billion. The number was above estimations, as economists were expecting a decline in the trade deficit to about $53.5 billion.

It seems like US consumers are cutting back on discretionary spending and consumption at a rapid rate, while US manufacturers are suffering from a stregthening dollar (by default) and a cutback in global, non-US consumption as well. Exports, the driving force of our economy for years now, has suffered a severe setback in September and October, which doesn’t paint a nice picture for the future.  

In the last year, the US trade deficit has increased only slightly, by $0.9 billion, with imports gaining 4.2% and exports rising 5.3%.

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