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The United States trade deficit widened by 4 percent in September to $6.79 billion as imports, particularly those of consumer goods, rose faster than exports, the Commerce Department said Nov. 19.The September trade gap, which was greater than expected, reflected a 3.2 percent rise in imports to $42.22 billion and only a 3 percent increase in exports to $35.43 billion, the department said. Despite a wider gap between exports and imports, the US appears to be headed for improvement on its balance of trade. The recession dampened Americans' appetite for foreign goods through the first half of 1991 and demand for US-made goods abroad had been relatively strong. This helped crank up the manufacturing sector of the economy last spring.

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