Import surge pushes up US trade gap

Import surge pushes up US trade gap

The Commerce Department data reflected a rise in oil import costs and a jump in the politically sensitive trade gap with China. The goods and services trade gap rose to USD 36.5 billion, the highest since January and the biggest jump in 10 years, from a revised USD 30.8 billion in August, the data showed.

The figure was far higher than anticipated by most economists. "The report was stunning in its description of an economy showing strong signs of recovery across the board," said Christopher Cornell, an economist at Moody's

"The US economy is on the mend," he said, linking the positive trade data to the 3.5 per cent US economic growth recorded in the third quarter and the improving economic situation in major trading partners.

The trade report showed the highest level rise since last December in both US imports and exports, underscoring an improvement in trade flows that had fallen with the global economic slump.

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