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US trade deficit grows to $42.2B because of fewer exports; deficit with China hits record high

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.

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