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Go back to the Trump years, when the word on The Street, nearly every time stock prices moved lower, they would blame it on the “Trade War,” which we kept noting had zero to do with the market moves because it was all talk and no action. 
Bingo! The U.S. trade deficit reached $80.9 billion in September, the steepest monthly increase since July 2020, as demand kept climbing for computers, electrical equipment, and other capital goods even as supply chains remain gridlocked.
Imports of consumer goods lessened, with apparel imports down $81 million in September.
However, demand for industrial raw materials soared, with the value of imported steel up 93 percent this year through September, year on year, wood 79 percent,  copper 82 percent, fuel and lubricants 69 percent, finished metals 32.5 percent, and unfinished metals 24.8 percent, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In the past 12 months, imports of industrial materials have grown 56 percent.
Overall, the cost of industrial materials has gained 35 percent year on year through September, the U.S. labor department said.
The trade gap widened by 11.2 percent in September from August, the U.S. commerce department reported, with imports adding 0.6 percent to reach $288.5 billion, also a monthly record.
Exports shrank 3 percent to $207.6 billion, in part because Hurricane Ida paused oil production along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Earlier this year, the trade deficit grew as consumers vented pent-up demand for items they were unable to buy during 2020’s economic shutdown.
Now the trade hole is being dug deeper in large part by shifts in factories’ procurement patterns as companies seek to stockpile materials in short supply, according to the WSJ.
At the same time, retailers have been seeking to stockpile goods for the winter holiday shopping season.
U.S. workers’ productivity declined 5 percent in this year’s third quarter, reflecting a shortage of workers, the largest such drop since 1981.
At the same time, unit labor costs rose 8.3 percent due to inflation and workers using their newfound clout to win richer compensation.
China Time
China’s exports spiked 27.1 percent in October beating The Streets forecasts for 24.5 percent rise.
On the downside, imports missed analysts’ expectations, likely pointing to the overall weakness in domestic demand.
TREND FORECAST: The United States, as a service sector society, will continue to shed its middle class as it buys more, makes less and employs its people in non-productive employment… such as warehouse workers, product deliverers, retail clerks, fast-food workers, etc. 
For example, some 30 percent of Germany’s jobs and output are tied to overseas demand for its products and services, which is some four times the share in the United States. Indeed, exports account for only about 11.5 percent of America’s Gross Domestic product. 

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