September Trade Deficit Declines

The U.S. Dept. of Commerce and the Census Bureau report that the September 2010 trade balance deficit fell as exports rose to the highest September in history.  The headlines:

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that total September exports of $154.1 billion and imports of $198.1 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $44.0 billion, down from $46.5 billion in August, revised. September exports were $0.5 billion more than August exports of $153.6 billion. September imports were $2.0 billion less than August imports of $200.1 billion.

In reviewing the unadjusted data, there was nothing in which stood out as exceptional.  Again, the key in the unadjusted data was the seasonal strength of exports.

Imports were considered to be within the normal seasonal variations – and Econintersect considers the MoM variation to indicate little growth in imports – especially if the exceptionally strong data from 2009 was ignored as an anomaly.

A drop in imports would be one indicator of declining USA consumer growth – and a drop in economic activity.  As the import data is flat or slightly growing, this continues to support a slow growth economic scenario.  The slight increase in exports does reflect slow economic growth as well, but both imports and exports are not reflecting much other than more of the same – very slow growth.

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