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NAFTA Trade Grew for Fifth Month in October
Wednesday, 06 January 2010 00:00
Lowest year-over-year decline since December 2008

Surface trade between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico grew for the fifth consecutive month in October and showed improvement in the rate of decline from a year earlier.

Trade using surface transportation among the NAFTA countries amounted to $61.4 billion in October, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation. That was a gain of 7.2 percent from September to October, picking up the pace of steady growth since May.

Compared with last October, surface trade fell 15.5 percent, slowing the pace of year-over-year declines of more than 20 percent through the first nine months of 2009. The bottom of the slump was in May, when surface trade fell 35.4 percent compared with a year earlier to $47.9 billion.

About 88 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moves by truck, rail and pipeline.

U.S.–Canada surface transportation trade totaled $36.3 billion in October, down 19 percent compared to October 2008. The value of imports carried by truck was 15.8 percent lower in October 2009 compared to October 2008, while the value of exports carried by truck was 9.5 percent lower during this period.

U.S.–Mexico surface transportation trade totaled $25.1 billion in October, down 10 percent compared to October 2008. The value of imports carried by truck was 4.2 percent lower in October 2009 than October 2008 while the value of exports carried by truck was 13.5 percent lower.

The Journal of Commerce Online, 1/6/2010