U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows in October

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $67.1 billion in October, the lowest in six months, after hitting a record high in September. A big rebound in exports helped to offset a much smaller rise in imports.

Figures released Tuesday by the Commerce Department revealed he October deficit was 17.6% below the all-time peak in September of $81.4 billion, the smallest monthly deficit since a $66.2-billion imbalance in April.

The strong rebound in exports is seen by economists as evidence of global supply chains beginning to untangle, and they believe smaller deficits this quarter could give a solid boost to overall U.S. economic growth.

The Commerce Department went on to say there were gains in numerous export categories, suggesting that a recovering global economy is beginning to boost demand for U.S. products. Americans’ demand for imports had been racing ahead of export sales as the U.S. economy recovered more quickly than other countries from the pandemic.

In October, exports rose 8.1% to $223.6 billion while imports were up a much smaller 0.9% to $290.7 billion. The deficit is the gap between what the United States exports to the rest of the world and the imports it purchases from foreign nations.

America’s overall deficit trade deficit totaled $705.2 billion so far this year, 29.7% above the same period a year ago. Trade flows were sharply curtailed last year as the COVID pandemic restricted economic activity.