Ships Manifest: What All Those Vessels Off the Coast Mean for Trade

Summary Solid domestic demand has caused import growth to outpace exports for the better part of the past year. The deficit has widened in eight of the past 12 months as a result, and net exports have been a drag on headline growth for the past five consecutive quarters. With U.S. consumption slowly rebalancing back toward services spending, imports should eventually slow and provide some relief at our nation’s largest ports. But, we’re likely some ways away from a meaningful reprieve. Slow Pace of U.S. Exports Is the Cause for Other Country’s Supply Chain Problems Exports plunged 3.0% in September, which more than offset the 0.6% gain in import growth and caused the U.S. trade deficit to widen to a record deficit of $80.9 billion. Weakness in exports was broad based with every major category of goods having moved lower during the month, with the exception of consumer goods where a $1.5 billion gain in pharmaceutical preparations prevented a decline in the overall category. Industrial supplies exports plunged 10.5%, in real terms, which was the largest monthly decline since 2008. READ FULL ARTICLE>>