U.S. trade deficit widens to 7-month high in September

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) — U.S. trade deficit widened to a seven-month high in September as imports hit a record high and exports bounced back, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Friday.

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

U.S. imports rose 1.5 percent to a record high of 266.6 billion dollars in September, and exports bounced back 1.5 percent to 212.6 billion dollars after dropping for three consecutive months.

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

The trade deficit rose to 445 billion dollars in the first nine months this year, up 10.1 percent 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 U.S. fiscal stimulus.

A strong U.S. 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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