The trade deficit for October 2009 was -$32.9 billion, down $2.8 billion from last month's deficit of $35.7 billion. The complete trade report is here.
Commerce, announced today that total October exports of $136.8 billion and imports of $169.8 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $32.9 billion, down from $35.7 billion in September, revised. October exports were $3.5 billion more than September exports of $133.4 billion. October imports were $0.7 billion more than September imports of $169.0 billion.
This is some very good news for both imports and exports increased, it's simply that exports increased more. This adds to U.S. GDP.
In comparison to a year ago, exports are down 8.6% while imports are down 18.8%.
In terms of categories the export to import categories were a wash, except the imports for industrial materials and supplies dropped -$1.8 billion and other goods, -$0.4 billion. Oil is a majority by volume of industrial materials and supplies
So, realize it's majority oil and the reduction of imports and price that caused the deficit to narrow. The United States has a long way to go to turn the trade deficit and thus U.S. manufacturing around, although in major categories it was a nice surprise to see imports and exports were about equal.
One scary note is advanced technology products now has a deficit of -$5.6 billion. These originate from advanced manufacturing, high value products and imply high end jobs as well.
A weak dollar might also be helping, although bear in mind the Chinese currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar and China is 83% of the non-oil U.S. trade deficit.