US August Trade Gap Lowest in 11 Months

The trade deficit in the United States narrowed to USD 42.4 billion in August 2017 from a revised USD 43.6 billion in July and below market expectations of a USD 42.7 billion gap. Exports grew 0.4 percent to the highest level in more than 2-1/2 years while imports fell 0.1 percent.

Exports rose USD 0.8 billion, or 0.4 percent, to USD 195.3 billion from USD 194.5 billion in the previous month. It was the highest level in exports since December 2014, as goods exports increased USD 0.6 billion to a near two-year high of USD 129.2 billion. Sales rose for consumer goods (up USD 1.0 billion), of which pharmaceutical preparations (up USD 0.6 billion); and capital goods (up USD 0.4 billion), of which telecommunications equipment (up USD 0.4 billion). By contrast, exports of industrial supplies and materials decreased USD 1.0 billion, mainly due to lower sales of fuel oil (down USD 0.7 billion); and those of foods, feeds, and beverages fell USD 0.4 billion.

Imports dropped USD 0.4 billion, or 0.1 percent, to USD 237.7 billion from USD 238.1 billion in July, due to lower purchases of industrial supplies and materials (down USD 0.5 billion), of which finished metal shapes (down USD 0.2 billion), and copper (down USD 0.2 billion); and capital goods (down USD 0.5 billion). Meanwhile, imports of motor vehicles rose USD 0.7 billion, as purchases of passenger cars grew USD 0.5 billion.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, exports of goods rose to China (8.7 percent), Mexico (5.7 percent), Canada (12.5 percent) and the EU (9.1 percent), while sales to Japan dropped 5.5 percent. Imports of goods increased from Canada (9.1 percent), Japan (4 percent), China (5.1 percent), Mexico (9.7 percent) and the EU (2.5 percent).

The US trade deficit narrowed with the EU (USD -12.4 billion from USD -13.5 billion in July) and Canada (USD -0.4 billion from USD -1.1 billion), but widened with China (USD -34.9 billion from USD -33.6 billion), Mexico (USD -6.2 billion from USD -4.9 billion) and Japan (USD -6.6 billion from USD -5.8 billion) 

Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased to USD 361.4 billion from USD 332.3 billion in the same period in 2016.

US August Trade Gap Lowest in 11 Months

BEA | Joana Ferreira |
10/5/2017 1:40:25 PM