U.S. goods trade deficit narrows in October as imports plunge
The U.S. goods trade deficit narrowed in October as imports plunged, U.S. preliminary government figures showed on Tuesday.
The trade deficit in goods fell to 66.5 billion U.S. dollars in October from a revised 70.5 billion dollars in the prior month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Exports of goods for October were 135.3 billion dollars, down 0.9 billion dollars from September, while imports of goods fell sharply to 201.8 billion dollars, 5 billion dollars less than in the prior month.
Analysts said the large decline in imports last month might reflect the impact of new U.S. tariffs on imported products from China.
However, U.S. import price data indicate that prices on goods from China have so far not fallen, implying that U.S. wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers, and consumers are paying the tariff costs, according to a study released Monday by researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
"The continued stability of import prices for goods from China means U.S. firms and consumers have to pay the tariff," the researchers wrote.
U.S. consumers and businesses paid an additional 38 billion dollars in tariffs from February 2018 to September 2019 due to U.S.-China trade disputes, according to Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a U.S. anti-tariff advocacy group.