Background

The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services rose for the third straight month in August, up 6.2 percent to $53.2 billion, according to trade statistics released by the Department of Commerce. Exports were down 0.8 percent to $209.4 billion while imports rose 0.6 percent to a record-high $262.7 billion.

For the year to date, the total trade deficit is up 8.6 percent from 2017. Exports and imports have both risen 8.4 percent over the same period as a year earlier.  

The deficit in goods trade rose 4.9 percent to $76.7 billion in August. Imports of goods were up 0.8 percent to $215.6 billion, including increases of $1 billion in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines and $900 million in cell phones and other household goods. Exports of goods fell 1.3 percent to $138.9 billion, including decreases of $1 billion in soybeans, $900 million in crude oil, and $600 million in artwork, antiques, stamps, and other collectibles.

The services surplus rose 1.7 percent to $23.5 billion as imports slipped 0.4 percent to $47.0 billion and exports gained 0.3 percent to $70.5 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$34.4 billion

+0.9

   

European Union

$14.9 billion

+2.8

   

Mexico

$8.7 billion

+35.9

   

Japan

$5.8 billion

+18.4

   

Germany

$5.3 billion

-14.5

   

Canada

$3.0 billion

+6.3

   

Italy

$2.7 billion

0

   

India

$1.9 billion

+18.8

   

South Korea

$1.8 billion

+38.5

   

France

$1.3 billion

-7.1

   

Saudi Arabia

$1.1 billion

+10.0

   

Taiwan

$0.7 billion

-30.0

   

United Kingdom

$0.1 billion

Change from $0.4 billion surplus

   

South/Central America

   

$3.4 billion

0

Hong Kong

   

$2.3 billion

-8.0

Singapore

   

$0.6 billion

+200

Brazil

   

$0.5 billion

-16.7

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