Offshore Capitalist

US trade gap widens unexpectedly

The US trade deficit unexpectedly widened in September by the largest amount in 10 years, figures show.

The trade gap, the difference between US imports and exports, grew 18.2% to $36.5bn (£21.9bn) from August.

Imports rose 5.8%, the biggest jump since 1993 and an indication that consumer spending is recovering.

Separately, US consumer confidence figures unexpectedly fell. The Michigan survey of consumers fell to 66.0 in November – down from 70.6 in October.

The trade deficit had fallen sharply this year as the US economy went through a deep recession and the US dollar plummeted in value.

The latest figures show that the politically-sensitive trade gap with China widened 9.2% to $22.1bn in September as imports surged.

US President Barack Obama is on his first Asian tour this week, and will meet Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday.

The US has maintained that China keeps its currency, the yuan, artificially cheap to make its exports more competitive.

The trade gap with China has narrowed by 15.9% in the first nine months of the year, much less than its 79.6% drop with Canada and 42% decline with the European Union.

US imports from the oil cartel Opec rose to $11.9bn in September, the highest since November 2008.

via BBC NEWS | Business | US trade gap widens unexpectedly.

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