October US Exports Plunge By Most Since January 2009 As Trade Deficit With China Hits Record

Tyler Durden's picture

The boost to GDP from the declining US trade deficit is over. While the September trade deficit number was revised further lower, to $40.3 billion from $41.5 previously, October saw a pick up to $42.2 billion, slightly less than the expected $42.7 billion, but a headwind to Q4 GDP already. As a result, expect a modest boost to Q3 GDP in its final revision, even as Q4 GDP continues to contract below its consensus of sub stall-speed ~1%. The reason for the decline: a 3.6% decline in exports of goods and services. This was the biggest percent drop in exports since January 2009 as the traditional US import partners are all wrapped in a major recession. What helped, however, was the offsetting drop in imports by 2.1%, the lowest since April 2011, as US businesses are likewise consumed by a concerns about the global economy. And without global trade, whose nexus just happens to be Europe, there can be no global or even regional recovery. So far, all hopes of a pick up in global economy have been largely dashed. Yet one country benefits from the ongoing US slump is China: imports from China - consisting primarily of computers and toys, games, and sporting goods- jumped 6.4% to a record $40.3 billion, offset be a modest rise in exports - primarily soybeans - to $10.8 billion, bring the China deficit to a record $29.5 billion from $29.1 billion in September. Of course, one wouldn't get that impression looking at the Chinese side of the ledger: the Chinese Customs department, reported a September and October trade surplus with the US amounting to $21.1 and $21.7 billion. One wonders, somewhat, where the over $16 billion difference has gone.

Combined trade deficit:

Just exports:

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jplotinus's picture

That people should work and make their own stuff, rather than contract that sort of thing out to others to do it for them, better and cheaper, is only an assumption, right?

old naughty's picture

Interesting time. Chess play between a newly re-elected and a newly elected.

Dr. Engali's picture

Weren't the seas supposed to have been lowered and our exports to have been doubled by now?

fonzannoon's picture

Doc you have to remember the math here. With the debt half means doubled and with the exports doubled means half.

“Today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.

…I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay, and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control.”

Dr. Engali's picture

True....I forgot we live in bizzaro world.

pods's picture

Just a marketing issue.  

I am sure every little Chinese kid wants in on a subprime MBS?


SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Who the F cares?   TPTB have the same answer to every question:  SCOREBOARD.  (SP 1424)

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"One wonders, somewhat, where the over $16 billion difference has gone."


<Just guessing here.>

buzzsaw99's picture

knockoff iphones are the likely culprit. :snark:

semperfi's picture

Are American companies & real-estate considered "exports" when China buys them?  If so, we'll be running a trade surplus soon.

Racer's picture

Got .... to.... keep... 'market' .... up... for ....bonus

LongSoupLine's picture

The only reason exports have crashed so hard is because our recovery is sooooo strong that we are buying all the shit for ourselves. Forward!

Fuck you Obama and Bernanke. Wealth and production destroying fucks.

SheepDog-One's picture

Everything plunging? Doesn't matter at all, they built another concrete floor under yesterdays ramp and futures comfortably green again to build another firm floor under. Wont be red all day I bet. 

PUD's picture


semperfi's picture

Contrarily, there's plenty of rope and chains.

game theory's picture

I blame my wife...she bought more xmas tree lights from china...and they burn out every damn year.

youngman's picture

Its just numbers..headline numbers...to be repeated in front of some camera somewhere...by some elected idiot..or page reader

GottaBKiddn's picture

 It seems that every day someone, somewhere is trying to tell us that China is crumbling, and yet they obviously have the west by the balls.

azzhatter's picture





Quinvarius's picture

Did we run out of gold to export?

forwardho's picture

Yet another wave of reality crashes against the make believe construct of the current paradigm.

When enough of the foundations have been undercut, the construct will become structurally unstable.

In construction this is called,"catastrophic failure"

Gravity sucks.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

the big item is the F'n Cliff..MSM 24/7 on it quick look over here...they gotta have somth'n they can control for good news as in GOP caves Obuma gets his tax and the cliff gets resolved ..thats the game plan and it will get the market higher even if half the S&P went BK in the mean time. up is down down is up.

reader2010's picture

one billion+ chinese iphone knockoffs for the masses of china.

lolmao500's picture

Now just imagine the trade deficit if America stopped selling weapons to terrorists states!