The nation's trade deficit jumped 7.6% in September to $43 billion as exports to Europe, China and Japan declined, a sign that slower growth in the economies of key trading partners is starting to pinch the United States. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a deficit of $41.1 billion, up slightly from a revised $40 billion in August. Exports fell a seasonally adjusted 1.5% in September - the biggest drop in seven months - to $195.6 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. U.S. exports fell an unadjusted 3.2% with China, 6.5% with the European Union and 14.7% with Japan. The U.S. exported less oil, petroleum, steel, civilian aircraft and pharmaceutical drugs. Imports were unchanged at $238.6 billion, but they probably would have declined if not for the new iPhone. U.S. imports of cell phones and related household goods surged by nearly 28% to $8.86 billion, resulting in a record level of advanced technology imports. The trade gap with China, meanwhile, climbed to a record $35.6 billion.
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