Trade Gap Widens

Unlike many of its European counterparts, the United States has enjoyed enough of a rebound in domestic demand that the export decline in September just outlined by the Department of Commerce is not necessarily a growth-killer.

The Commerce Department announced that the US trade deficit surged to $43 billion in September, up $3 billion from the previous month. With notable economic problems returning to parts of Europe as well as newer concerns in Asian and Latin America, export demand dried up as the summer came to a close. It was notable in decreases in industries like capital goods and automotive. Export numbers were still higher in September 2014 than the previous year, however, according to Commerce data. Imports fell in large part due to a continuing reduction in demand for foreign petroleum and energy products. There was, however,  also a noticeable surge in imports of consumer products, particularly electronics,  with Apple being a winner in that regard.

Still, the widening gap and the reduced exporting activity haven’t seemed to emerge as major concerns yet. But as has become almost customary, problems at the Port of Los Angeles seem to be again percolating at a time when retailers and the suddenly export-deficient economy can ill afford them. And it could have an impact on retailers at a time when they can least afford problems.

- Brian Shappell, CBA, CICP, NACM staff writer
For more on this story, including a look at the brewing problems at the critically important Port of Los Angeles, check out this week's edition of eNews, available late Thursday afternoon via email and at 

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