International Trade: Imports Slow on Tariffs
November 5, 2019
Bottom Line: The trade deficit widened less than expected in September as tariffs put in place at the beginning of the month slowed both imports and exports with China. On net, imports fell slightly more than exports. Agricultural products and auto parts led the export declines, while consumer goods led the declines on the import side. Overall, the pace of widening in the trade deficit has slowed amid the trade uncertainty and increased tariffs.
The International Trade Deficit NARROWED by $2.6 billion to $52.5 billion in September, compared with market expectations for an decline to a $52.4 billion deficit.
Exports FELL by 0.9% to $206.0 billion after an increase of 0.2% in the prior month. The declines in food, feed, and beverages and motor vehicles and parts were partially offset by increases in capital goods and consumer goods. Export growth is now 1.8% BELOW their year ago level.
Imports FELL 1.682% to $258.4 billion after an increase of 0.5% in the prior month. The declines in consumer goods and capital goods were partially offset by increases in other goods and food, feed, and beverages. In September, oil imports decreased. Oil imports 2019 year-to-date levels are now moderately below the 2018 year-to-date levels. Imports are now 2.8% BELOW their year ago level.
Article by Contingent Macro Advisors