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U.S. goods trade deficit widens in October
Last Updated: 2017-11-29 09:39 | Xinhua
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U.S. goods trade deficit widened in October, which could drag economic growth in the fourth quarter of the year, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

The trade deficit in goods was 68.3 billion U.S. dollars in October, up 4.2 billion dollars, or 6.5 percent, from the previous month, the Commerce Department said. That was higher than economists' expectations for a deficit of 64.9 billion dollars last month.

Exports of goods for October fell by 1.3 billion dollars to 129.1 billion dollars, while imports of goods edged up by 2.9 billion dollars to 197.4 billion dollars last month, according to the department.

A widening trade deficit means that net trade is expected to considerably drag U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter this year unless it could be reversed in the final two months of the year, analysts said.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3 percent in the third quarter of the year, slightly lower than the 3.1 percent growth rate in the previous quarter, according to the Commerce Department.

While the Trump administration has vowed to reduce U.S. trade deficit with the rest of the world, economists have argued that the administration's tax cut plan would actually increase the trade deficit.

"There may not be much that macroeconomists can predict with accuracy, but a large tax cut will lead to a budget deficit, which will lead to a trade deficit," said Jeffrey Frankel, a professor of economics at Harvard University.

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