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Trade deficit unchanged in August

Thu Oct 13 2011
Janet Freas
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U.S. Trade in August

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The Nation’s international trade deficit in goods and services was virtually unchanged at $45.6 billion in August, as exports and imports decreased. Exports decreased to $177.6 billion in August from $177.7 billion in July (revised), and imports decreased to $223.2 billion in August from $223.3 billion in July.

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Even though August’s trade activity was flat, there were some noteworthy highlights.  August exports of services ($50.9 billion) were the highest on record, boosting the surplus of services ($15.8 billion) to its highest on record.

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Trade of goods on a Census Basis (seasonally adjusted) saw record highs in August.  Exports of goods ($125.4 billion), petroleum exports ($10.3 billion), and exports to Mexico ($17.8 billion) were the highest on record.

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Imports from China continue to increase; August imports from China increased $2.2 billion to $37.4 billion, resulting in both an import record and deficit ($29.0 billion) record high.  In August, China was the U.S.’s largest importer, the second largest total trading partner ($45.8 billion); and third largest exporting trading partner ($8.4 billion). (See top trading partners.)

August imports from China consisted primarily of computers; other household goods; toys, games, and sporting goods; computer accessories; nonwool or cotton apparel and textiles; and footwear.

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