Trade Gap Unexpectedly Widens on Surge of Oil and Auto Parts Imports

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The trade deficit in the U.S. grew by an unexpectedly large 18.2% in September, the most in a decade, reflecting rising demand for imported oil and imports from China.

The gap grew to $36.5 billion, the highest level since January, from a revised $30.8 billion in August, the Commerce Department said today (Friday). Imports jumped the most in 16 years, overcoming a gain in exports.

U.S. exports and imports were at the highest levels since December 2008, in a sign that the U.S. economy is recovering. Imports grew 5.8% in September, the biggest monthly gain since March 1993, while exports rose 2.9%.