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Oct. 27, 2021, 9:05 a.m. EDT

U.S. trade deficit in goods soars 9.2% in September to record high of $96.3 billion

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Chris Matthews

The numbers : The U.S. trade deficit in goods rose 9.2% to a record $96.3 billion in September, according to the Commerce Department’s advanced estimate released Wednesday.

Economists polled by econoday expected a deficit of $87.9 billion.

The report also showed a 1.1% increase in wholesale inventories, while retail inventories fell by 0.2%, led by a 2.4% decline in autos. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, inventories rose 0.6%.

What happened : Exports of goods fell 4.7% to $142.2 billion in September. Imports rose 0.5% to $238.4 billion.

Big picture : The international trade deficit resumed its steady march higher in September, on the back of strong U.S. consumer demand for foreign imports, though last months deficit was driven largely by a sharp decline in exports due to “weak international demand,” according to Katherine Judge, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets.

Market reaction : U.S. stock index futures were inching higher before the start of trade Wednesday, with the Dow futures /zigman2/quotes/210407078/delayed YM00 -1.65% up 0.1% and those for the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 -1.49% edging less than 0.1% higher.

/zigman2/quotes/210407078/delayed
US : U.S.: CBOT
$ 34,498.00
-579.00 -1.65%
Volume: 292,275
Nov. 30, 2021 3:46p
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/zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed
US : U.S.: CME
$ 4,581.75
-69.25 -1.49%
Volume: 2.72M
Nov. 30, 2021 3:46p
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