The U.S. trade deficit narrowed as expected by $2.6 billion in September to $52.5 billion, down from a revised $55.0 billion in August. The U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis reported the goods and services deficit reflects a decline of $1.8 billion for exports to $206.0 billion and a $4.4 billion decline to $258.4 billion for imports.
Forecasts ranged from a low of $-55.7 billion to a high of $-51.8 billion. The consensus forecast was $52.5 billion.
Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit widened $24.8 billion, or 5.4%, from the same period in 2018. Exports fell $7.0 billion or 0.4%. Imports increased $17.8 billion or 0.8%.
The average goods and services deficit decreased $1.0 billion to $53.8 billion for the three months ending in September. Average exports fell $0.1 billion to $207.1 billion, while average imports declined $1.1 billion to $260.9 billion.
The politically-sensitive goods deficit with China fell $0.9 billion to $28.0 billion. Exports declined by $1.0 billion to $9.0 billion, but imports fell $1.9 billion to $37.0 billion.