The September 2018 US trade balance report

  • Seven month high and fourth straight month of widening
  • Prior was -53.2B (revised to -53.3B)
  • US-China Sept goods trade deficit $40.24B vs $38.57B in August (record high)
  • Exports +1.5%, imports +1.5%
  • Goods deficit $77.23B, Services surplus +23.21B
  • Exports $212.57B vs $209.45B in Aug
  • Imports $266.58B vs $262.75B in Aug (record high in imports)

The trade deficit is slightly larger than expected and nearing a 10-year high but I take some comfort in the overall rise in trade in the month. It shows that tariffs and trade fears aren't slowing the pace of buying and selling however that might just be stockpiling ahead of harsher tariffs.

Adjusted for inflation, the US trade deficit in goods hit an all-time high of $87.0 billion.

Regionally, the US narrowed its trade deficit with most major markets but it was widened with China and the OPEC nations.