WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit increased in October because exports fell by a larger margin than imports, a sign that slower global growth could weigh on the U.S. economy. The trade gap with China also hit an all-time high.
The Commerce Department says the trade deficit grew 4.8 percent in October from September to $42.2 billion.
Exports dropped 3.6 percent to $180.5 billion. Sales of commercial aircraft, autos and farm products all declined.
Imports fell 2.1 percent to $222.8 billion, reflecting fewer shipments of cell phones, autos and machinery.
A wider trade deficit acts as a drag on growth. It typically means the U.S. is earning less on overseas sales of American-produced goods while spending more on foreign products.