September's trade deficit was upwardly revised from $43.5 billion to $44.9 billion. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a narrower deficit of $47.5 billion.
If export growth continues to stall in November and December while imports continue to pick up, gross domestic product, a measure for US economic growth, could be significantly lower in 2017's last quarter than it was in previous quarters.
A trade deficit means that the United States is buying more goods and services from other countries than it is selling them.
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In October, the United States ran a surplus of $20.3 billion with the rest of the world in services such as banking and tourism. Imports increased $146.6 billion or 6.5%. The overall trade deficit widened 11.9% so far this year compared with the same period in 2016.
Imports of crude oil shot up by USD1.5 billion, while imports of consumer goods and other goods also showed notable increases. Exports of services grew 0.5% to $65.6 billion. But that was overwhelmed by a $69.1 billion deficit in the trade of goods.
He added, "Together with the depreciation of the dollar this year, we think export growth should rebound over the coming months, suggesting that net trade should be broadly neutral for economic growth next year". Imports of drilling and oilfield equipment climbed by $304 million, and imports of cellphones rose by $303 million.