Background

The U.S. monthly trade deficit in goods and services fell 2.8 percent in August to $42.4 billion, its lowest level in 11 months. Exports were up 0.4 percent to $195.3 billion and imports slipped 0.2 percent to $237.7 billion. However, for the year to date the U.S. trade deficit is up 8.8 percent over the same period in 2016 as imports (6.4 percent) have risen faster than exports (5.8 percent).

According to Commerce Department statistics, the deficit in goods trade declined 1.4 percent to $64.4 billion in August. Imports of goods were down 0.2 percent to $193.6 billion, including decreases of $300 million in computer accessories and $200 million each in civilian aircraft, finished metal shapes, and copper along with a $500 million increase in passenger cars. Exports of goods were up 0.5 percent to $129.2 billion, including increases of $600 million in pharmaceutical preparations and $400 million in telecommunications equipment and decreases of $700 million in fuel oil and $400 million in foods, feeds, and beverages.

The services surplus rose 1.4 percent to $22.0 billion. Imports slipped 0.2 percent to $44.1 billion and exports gained 0.3 percent to $66.1 billion.

Country/region

Deficit

% Change

Surplus

% Change

China

$29.7 billion

-6.6

   

European Union

$10.9 billion

-9.9

   

Japan

$6.3 billion

+14.5

   

Mexico

$5.8 billion

+7.4

   

Germany

$4.8 billion

-9.4

   

Italy

$2.5 billion

+4.2

   

South Korea

$2.1 billion

+16.7

   

India

$1.6 billion

-15.8

   

Taiwan

$1.5 billion

-21.1

   

France

$0.8 billion

-38.5

   

Canada

$0.4 billion

-55.6

   

Saudi Arabia

$0.1 billion

Change from $0.8 surplus

   

South/Central America

   

$2.7 billion

-22.9

Hong Kong

   

$2.5 billion

-10.7

Singapore

   

$0.8 billion

+14.3

United Kingdom

   

$0.6 billion

Change from $0.2 billion deficit

Brazil

   

$0.4 billion

-50.0

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