At the tail ends of the distribution of expectations
Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widened to a record $68.9 billion in October, as imports of crude oil, automobiles and televisions increased, a government report showed.
The gap in goods and services trade reported by the Commerce Department today exceeded even the highest estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. In September, the shortfall was $66 billion. Imports rose 2.7 percent and exports increased 1.7 percent in October. The U.S. had record deficits with China, Canada and Mexico.
In fact the Bloomberg consensus was at $62.8, so the $68.9 figure exceeds the consensus by 9.7%, indeed a big surprise.
The article continues, tracing out implications for GDP in q4:
Still, the wider U.S. gap may restrain economic growth this quarter, economists said. The deficit averaged $61.1 billion in the third quarter and subtracted 0.25 percentage point from gross domestic product.