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 -0.91% up 0.1% and those for the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 -0.75% edging less than 0.1% higher.