The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widened in the month of November, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday, with a jump in imports more than offsetting an increase in exports.
The report showed that the trade deficit widened to $48.7 billion in November from a revised $42.1 billion in October. The trade deficit for November reflected the widest U.S. trade deficit since a $49.6 billion deficit in April.
The wider deficit surprised economists, who had expected the deficit to narrow to $41.1 billion from the $42.2 billion deficit originally reported for the previous month.
A jump in the value of imports contributed to the wider deficit, with imports surging up 3.8 percent to $231.3 billion in November from $222.9 billion in October.
Imports of goods jumped 4.4 percent, reflecting notable increases in imports of consumer goods, automotive vehicles, parts, and engines, and industrial supplies and materials.
Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist at BMO Capital markets, said, "A wider U.S. trade gap will weigh on Q4 growth, but a rebound in imports suggests domestic demand has turned up."
The report also showed a more modest increase in the value of exports, which climbed 1 percent to $182.6 billion in November from $180.8 billion in October.
Exports of goods increased by 1.3 percent to $129.3 billion, while export of services edged up by 0.2 percent to $53.2 billion.
Despite the wider overall trade deficit, the Commerce Department said the U.S. trade deficit with China narrowed to $29.0 billion in November from $29.5 billion in October.
by RTT Staff Writer
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