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Economic Report: U.S. trade deficit in goods narrows in September

An early look at U.S. trade patterns in September points to narrowing in the trade deficit at the end of the third quarter. Read More...
A gantry crane unloads containers from a cargo ship at the Long Beach Container Terminal at the Port of Long Beach in Long Beach, California.

The numbers: An early look at U.S. trade patterns in September points to

The advanced trade deficit in goods narrowed to $70.4 billion in September, down 3.6%, according to the Commerce Department’s advanced estimate released Monday. That was much smaller than the $73.7 billion estimate of economists polled by MarketWatch. The report is used by the government to better measure GDP.

The report also showed a 0.3% decline in wholesale inventories. And advanced retail inventories rose 0.3%.

What happened: Both imports and exports fell in August, but imports fell at a faster pace.

The declines were widespread. Imports of consumer goods fell by 5% and capital good imports were down by 2.3%.

Food products accounted for the bulk of the decline in exports.

Big picture: The trade war is slowing down global trade. Total exports are now down almost 4% over the past year, while imports are down 3%.

What are they saying: “We continue to expect net trade to be a drag on growth in the third quarter,” said Katherine Judge, economist at CIBC World Markets.

Market reaction: Stock-index futures point to slightly higher opening as the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.41%  neared record territory.


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