October export data from Department of Commerce shows promising signs, trade deficit decreases

By Jeff Berman · December 10, 2010

In a sign that the White House’s push to increase United States export activity is gaining some traction, data released by the Department of Commerce stated that total October exports of $158.7 billion and imports of $197.4 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $38.7 billion.

This represents a $5.9 billion difference from September, with October exports coming in $4.9 billion higher than September’s $153.8 billion, and October exports $0.9 billion less than September’s $198.4 billion.

What’s more total U.S. exports of goods and services in October at $158.7 billion marks the highest level for monthly exports since August 2008, which hit $162.9 billion, according to Commerce. And Services exports in October hit a record high for the third straight month, while U.S. imports of goods and services dropped 0.5 percent for the month to $197.4 billion, which subsequently allowed the U.S. trade deficit to decrease 13.2 percent since September to hit $38.7 billion in October.

Commerce said that goods exports were up by more than 4 percent in October compared to September, with the highest goods exports bound for Mexico and China.

“Now more than ever, America’s ability to continue job growth at home depends on our success at selling more to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside our borders,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in a statement. “Today’s trade numbers are another sign that we’re moving in the right direction.”

Locke added that the pending trade deal with Korea will build on the momentum U.S. export activity is seeing and also level the playing field for American companies doing business there and will create jobs and opportunity domestically.

Charles Clowdis, managing director of Transportation and Supply Chain Advisory Services at IHS Global Insight, said that this news bodes well for shippers, carriers, and logistics services provider.

“Increased import/export figures are certainly welcome news,” Clowdis told LM. “Not only to aid in reducing the goods and services deficit, but this traffic also benefits the transport providers moving goods to and from the ports. Trucks, trains, and all elements along the way benefit from this heightened activity.”

Leading the September to October increase in exports, according to Commerce data, were exports of goods reflected increases in industrial supplies and materials ($2.6 billion); foods, feeds, and beverages ($0.7 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($0.4 billion); capital goods ($0.4 billion); other goods ($0.1 billion); and consumer goods ($0.1 billion).


About the Author

Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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