The September deficit topped the previous record of $73.2 billion set in June, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The deficit is the gap between what the United States exports to the rest of the world and the imports it purchases from foreign nations.
In September, exports plunged 3% to $207.6 billion while imports rose 0.6% to $288.5 billion.
Part of the weakness reflected a 15.5% drop in petroleum exports related to the drilling rig and refinery shutdowns during Hurricane Ida in the Gulf of Mexico. Economists expect that decline to reverse in coming months with petroleum production coming back online.
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