This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: U.S. Trade Deficit Increases
- The overall U.S. trade deficit increased to $42.6 billion in October from $36.2 billion in September, the Commerce Department reported last week. Exports declined by $3.4 billion while imports rose $3 billion. The goods deficit increased to $63.4 billion from $57.1 billion. Year-over-year, the total trade deficit is down 2.1 percent, or $8.8 billion.
- New orders for manufactured goods in the United States increased 2.7 percent from September to October while shipments rose 0.4 percent. The number of unfilled orders was up 0.7 percent while inventories were unchanged.
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of individuals who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 258,000 for the week that ended December 3 from the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims rose, however, while the number of individuals who continued to file for benefits declined. That figure dropped to 2.005 million from 2.084 million. In other employment-related news: there were 5.5 million jobs open in the United States at the end of October 2015 and U.S. employee productivity increased 3.1 percent in the third quarter of 2016.