The United States trade balance was released on Tuesday by the Commerce Department, which indicated a widening gap due to a large decline in exports as a result of the slowing global demand.
Exports out of the U.S. fell the most since January 2009, especially since the country’s second largest export market, the European Union as whole, is suffering from the sovereign debt crisis.
Data show that despite a decline in imports by 2.1 percent to $222.8 billion in October , the lowest level in 1-1/2 years, this could not offset the large decline in exports. There was a 3.6 percent fall in exports of goods and services to $180.5 billion which was the biggest drop in almost four years.
The European Union was the second largest export market for the U.S. last year, but exports in the first 10 months of 2012 were down 0.7 percent compared to same period in 2011.
Exports are one of the major pillars supporting the US economy but the slowing growth in China and Europe has reduced trade.
The U.S. dollar fell 0.1 percent against the yen within a half hour of the data which was released at 8:30 am New York time.