WASHINGTON — The U.S. international trade deficit was $42.2 billion in October, a 4.9% increase from the revised $40.3 billion deficit in September, originally reported as $41.5 billion, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
The October deficit was slightly smaller than the median $42.5 billion figure estimated by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, and resulted from total exports of $180.5 billion and imports of $222.8 billion.
The October mark was $3.5 billion lower than the same month in 2011. Exports rose $1.8 billion, or 1%, from the previous year. Imports were down $1.7 billion, or 0.8%.
Exports were 3.6% below the previous month's revised level of $187.3 billion, and reflected an especially sharp $2.9 billion drop in exports of industrial supplies and materials, the Commerce Department said.
The decline in exports was the largest since a 5.3% drop between December 2009 and January 2009, the Commerce Department said.
Imports fell 2.1% from the revised September level of $227.6 billion, primarily due to a $3.6 billion decline in import of consumer goods.