US trade deficit hits new record

Friday, November 11, 2005

The United States trade deficit hit a new record in September to $66.1 billion, up $5.7 billion from August. The trade deficit so far this year totals $529.8 billion.

A large part of the deficit is attributed to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Some of the increase is attributed to energy imports that were needed after Hurricane Katrina slowed down domestic oil production. Crude oil imports dropped $350 million due to shut down refineries, yet natural gas imports increased $3.7 billion. Fuel oil and petroleum products increased by $6.8 billion. There was also a 2.6 percent drop in exports.

Also affected by Katrina, food exports fell $296 million from transportation delays caused by the shutdown of the port of New Orleans. The total decrease in all exports was $2.8 billion.

The largest trade deficit is with China, up $1.6 billion to a record $20.1 billion after a flood of toys, clothes, and televisions were shipped to the United States.