US Trade Gap Narrowed in August as Hurricane Disrupted Shipping

Marie Harrington
October 7, 2017

July's trade deficit was downwardly revised slightly from $43.7 billion to $43.6 billion.

The French trade deficit narrowed to an eight-month low in August due to an acceleration in exports amid a decline in imports, the customs office said Friday.

A trade deficit means that the United States is buying more goods and services from other countries than it is selling to them.

Exports came in at $195.3 billion, up from $194.5 billion in July and most since December 2014, on higher shipments of cars, telecommunications equipment and pharmaceuticals. The expected deficit was Euro 5.4 billion.

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Exports of goods increased a slight $600 million, while imports of goods decreased $300 million, underpinned by volatility in the energy category.

The Commerce Department said the effects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria couldn't be isolated in Thursday's trade report, but "will likely be reflected in subsequent reports until normal trade activities resume in affected areas".

Imports of goods decreased $0.3 billion to $193.6 billion, the fourth consecutive monthly decrease. Imports slid to $237.7 billion from July's $238.1 billion. Minimizing that gap boosts US economic growth.

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