The goods trade deficit surged 7.7% to $99.0 billion last month, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. Exports of goods dropped 2.6% to $173.7 billion.
There were decreases in exports of industrial materials and supplies, which include crude oil. Exports of consumer goods tumbled, but shipments of food and motor vehicles and parts increased. The Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes to quell inflation have boosted the dollar, making U.S-made. goods expensive on the international market.
Goods imports rose 0.9% to $272.7 billion.
The Commerce Department also reported that wholesale inventories increased 0.8% in October after rising 0.6% in September. Retail inventories fell 0.2% after dipping 0.1% in September. Motor vehicle stocks increased 0.4%.
Excluding motor vehicles, retail inventories slipped 0.4% after dropping 0.9% in September. This component goes into the calculation of GDP. Inventories subtracted from GDP growth in the third quarter.
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