The US had an international trade deficit of $43.0 billion in September.
Exports totaled $195.6 billion, while imports totaled $238.6 billion.
This was wider than the $40.0 billion reported in August, and it was much wider than the $40.2 billion expected by economists.
The magnitude of the increase was surprising given falling oil prices.
"The collapse in crude oil prices means that the trade deficit will narrow again before the end of this year," Capital Economics' Paul Ashworth said. "September was just a bit too early to pick up the change. Moreover, as we suggested in our US Weekly, the quantity of crude oil imported rebounded in September, offsetting the modest decline in the price per barrel. Nevertheless, by the end of the year, the lower cost of imported oil should push the trade deficit well below $40.0bn per month again."
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