U.S. Trade Deficit Smaller in September

The trade deficit between the United States and its global partners contracted to $52.5 billion in September as the White House continued its efforts to close the gap in goods and services.

The deficit was slightly above analyst expectations of $52.2 billion. August’s shortfall was just over $55 billion.

Still, as the first phase of renewed trade talks with Beijing looms, the trade balance remains higher from where it was when President Donald Trump took office. Consumers continue to demand foreign goods amid a decade-long economic expansion.

On a year-over-year basis, the current trade deficit is 5.4% higher than the same period in 2018.

With the two sides working toward an agreement, the deficit with China fell 3.1% to $28 billion for the month.

Overall, exports fell $1.8 billion to $206 billion while imports also were down, dropping $4.4 billion to $258.4 billion. The U.S. recorded its first petroleum surplus, of $252 million, since 1978 as the nation continues to push its energy output.