The Booming Economy
But hey, that's just me. What do I know? I must not have the economic foresight of our president.
So far this year, the deficit is running at an annual rate of $706.4 billion. This puts the country on track to far surpass the old deficit record of $617.6 billion set last year and gives critics ammunition to argue that President Bush's trade policies are not working.
The 11.4 percent increase in the deficit reflected the fact that imports jumped by 2.4 percent to a record $171.3 billion in September, driven by the higher oil bill and a big increase in imports of consumer goods such as televisions, clothing and toys.
U.S. exports actually fell by 2.6 percent to $105.2 billion in September, the biggest monthly decline in four years. However, analysts cautioned that the drop-off was heavily influenced by a strike at aircraft-maker Boeing which sharply curtailed shipments of jetliners during the month.
The deficit with China jumped by 8.9 percent during the month to a record $20.1 billion and through September is running at an annual rate approaching $200 billion, far above last year's record deficit of $162 billion, which was the highest imbalance ever recorded with a single country.