US Trade Deficit Widens in August

The US goods and services deficit increased 3 percent mom to $40.73 billion in August of 2016. Figures came slightly worse than market expectations of a $39.3 billion gap as imports jumped to the highest since September last year and exports reached the highest in 13 months.

The widening of the goods and services deficit reflects a slightly smaller goods deficit (down $0.1 billion to $60.3 billion) and a decrease in the services surplus (down $1.2 billion to $19.6 billion).
Total exports increased 0.8 percent to $187.9 billion, slowing from a 1.9 percent jump in July. Exports of goods went up $1.2 billion to $125.3 billion, boosted by industrial supplies and materials (up $1.4 billion); nonmonetary gold (up $0.9 billion) and automotive vehicles, parts, and engines (up $0.4 billion) while sales of capital goods declined $0.7 billion and civilian aircraft fell $0.8 billion. Exports of services increased $0.3 billion to $62.5 billion: travel (for all purposes including education) increased $0.2 billion; transport, which includes freight and port services and passenger fares, rose $0.1 billion.
Shipments to Brazil (+14.8 percent) recorded the highest increase, followed by Mexico (+10.8 percent); Canada (+10.7 percent); OPEC (+8.8 percent); Japan (+5.7 percent); China (+2.6 percent) and the European Union (+1.2 percent).
Total imports jumped 1.2 percent to $228.6 billion, recovering from a 0.7 percent fall in July. Purchases of goods increased $1.1 billion to $185.6 billion, boosted by capital goods (up $1.2 billion); civilian aircraft (up $0.6 billion); telecommunications equipment (up $0.3 billion) and other goods (up $0.7 billion) while those of industrial supplies and materials decreased $0.8 billion and nonmonetary gold fell $1.4 billion. Imports of services increased $1.5 billion to $43.0 billion: charges for the use of intellectual property increased $1.2 billion. The increase reflect payments for the rights to broadcast the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Travel (for all purposes including education) went up $0.2 billion.
Imports from Brazil jumped 34.2 percent and those from China rose 9.5 percent.
Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit decreased $4.3 billion, or 1.3 percent, from the same period in 2015. Exports decreased $62.4 billion or 4.1 percent. Imports decreased $66.8 billion or 3.6 percent.

BEA | Joana Taborda |
10/5/2016 1:05:36 PM