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US trade deficit widens less than expected in October
[WASHINGTON] The United States' trade deficit increased less than expected in October, suggesting trade could contribute to economic growth in the fourth quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap rose 1.7 per cent to US$63.1 billion in October. Data for September was revised to show a US$62.1 billion deficit instead of US$63.9 billion as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade shortfall increasing to US$64.8 billion in October.
Imports increased 2.1 per cent to US$245.1 billion. Goods imports gained 2.1 per cent to US$207.8 billion. Exports accelerated 2.2 per cent to US$182.0 billion. Goods exports jumped 3.0 per cent to US$126.3 billion.
Trade was a drag on gross domestic product in the third quarter for the first time since the second quarter of 2019. The economy grew at a historic 33.1 per cent annualised rate in the July-September period. That followed a record 31.4 per cent pace of contraction in the second quarter.