Trade Deficit Down Slightly as Exports and Imports Both See Small Increases
Trade statistics released Oct. 3 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. trade deficit fell for the fourth straight month in August, slipping 0.5 percent to $40.1 billion. Exports rose 0.2 percent to $198.5 billion, the latest in a string of all-time records, and imports gained 0.08 percent to $238.6 billion.
Compared to a year earlier, the August trade deficit was down $0.6 billion as exports increased 4.1 percent and imports grew by 3.7 percent. However, the year-to-date August 2014 deficit has worsened by 4.2 percent to $335.2 billion from $321.7 billion during the same period of 2013.
The monthly deficit in goods trade edged up to $59.9 billion. Exports of goods rose $0.1 billion to $138.8 billion while imports also gained $0.1 billion to $198.7 billion. The services surplus climbed 1.5 percent to $19.8 billion as exports rose 0.7 percent to $59.6 billion, the fourth straight monthly record, and imports moved ahead 0.3 percent to $39.9 billion.
With respect to individual trading partners, the U.S. saw larger trade deficits with Germany (up 10.9 percent to $7.1 billion) and Ireland (up 22.2 percent to $2.2 billion) and smaller deficits with China (down 2.2 percent to $30.2 billion), the European Union (down 16.7 percent to $7.1 billion), Japan (down 24.2 percent to $4.7 billion), Canada (down 23.3 percent to $2.3 billion), India (down 9.5 percent to $1.9 billion), South Korea (down 29.2 percent to $1.8 billion), Saudi Arabia (down 46.4 percent to $1.5 billion) and Venezuela (down 40.9 percent to $1.3 billion).
The U.S. continued to run trade surpluses with Hong Kong (up 33.3 percent to $2.8 billion), Australia (down 12.5 percent to $1.4 billion), Singapore (up 11.1 percent to $1.0 billion) and Brazil (up 100 percent to $1.0 billion).