The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in September, making trade unlikely to contribute to growth in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that the trade deficit increased 4.9 percent to $ 61.5 billion compared to $ 58.7 billion in August, the lowest level in 3 years.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the trade deficit to shrink to $59.9 billion in September.


Exports of goods and services increased 2.2% to $261.1 billion as they were:

  • Merchandise exports rose 3.1 percent to $176.7 billion.
  • Services exports reached $84.4 billion, the highest ever.


Imports of goods and services grew by 2.7% to $322.7 billion as follows:

  • Imports of goods increased 2.7 percent to $263 billion.
  • Services imports rose 2.6 percent to $59.6 billion.

The services surplus narrowed slightly to $24.8 billion from $25.9 billion in August.

In a preliminary reading of third-quarter GDP, announced last month, trade was a partial drag on the period's huge annual growth rate of 4.9%.