Trade deficit rises in October as exports falter

By: Martin Crutsinger (AP)
By: Martin Crutsinger (AP)

Specialist Justin Bohan holds his head as he works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday Oct. 9, 2008. Stocks plunged in the final minutes of trading Thursday, sending the Dow Jones industrials down more than 675 points, or more than 7 percent, to their lowest level in five years after a major credit ratings agency said it was considering cutting its rating on General Motors Corp. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

WASHINGTON (AP) - America's trade deficit has unexpectedly risen in October as a spreading global recession dampened sales of U.S. products overseas and the volume of oil imports surged by a record amount. The deficit with China has jumped to an all-time high.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the trade deficit rose to $57.2 billion October, 1.1 percent higher than the September imbalance of $56.6 billion.

Analysts had been looking for the deficit to decline to $53.5 billion on lower oil prices.

The average price for a barrel of crude oil did drop by a record amount but that was offset by a record surge in the volume of oil imports. That sent the total oil bill up by 3 percent to $37.7 billion.

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