Trade deficit hits $67.1 billion, widest in 14 years
The new numbers suggest that trade could be a drag on economic growth in the third quarter
(Reuters) – The U.S. trade deficit surged in August to the largest in 14 years, with imports climbing again, suggesting that trade could be a drag on economic growth in the third quarter.
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The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade deficit jumped 5.9% to $67.1 billion, the widest since August 2006.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade gap widening to $66.1 billion in August.
Imports increased by 3.2% to $239 billion. Goods imports rose $6.5 billion to $203 billion. Exports increased 2.2% to $171.9 billion. Goods exports rose $3.5 billion to $119.1 billion.
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The closely watched trade deficit with China decreased $1.9 billion to $26.4 billion in August.
A smaller trade bill contributed to gross domestic product over the last three quarters. The coronarivus crisis severely disrupted trade flows, which are now picking up.