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U.S. trade deficit grows by $6.5 billion

Census Bureau August Trade Deficit

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. trade deficit increased by $6.5 billion to $48.3 billion in August from July, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. August exports were $185.1 billion, $3.7 billion less than July, and imports were $233.4 billion, $2.8 billion more than July imports.

The export of goods from the U.S. decreased by $4.1 billion to $124.5 billion. At $2.2 billion, more than half that decline was from industrial supplies and materials such as fuel oil, plastic materials and crude oil, according to the Census Bureau. Fuel oil decreased by $0.6 billion, while plastic materials and crude oil each declined by $0.2 billion. Exports in drilling and oilfield equipment also declined by $0.02 billion from July to August.

Imports of crude oil into the U.S. declined by $1.2 billion to a total of $10.5 billion in July, when imports peaked at 300 million barrels for the month. Imports of drilling and oilfield equipment into the country was also lower at $0.4 billion, down $0.06 billion from July.

On a three-month moving average, the goods and services deficit increased $1.9 billion to $45.1 billion for the three months ending in August. The three-month average of goods and services on a year-over-year basis also increased from the same three months in August by $3.4 billion.

Canadian deficit grows from drop in crude oil exports

The Canadian trade deficit expanded by $2.53 billion in August, more than any of the 18 economist surveyed by Bloomberg expected. The survey predicted a median deficit of just $1.2 billion.

The drop in the trade balance was led by energy and consumer goods, which saw their largest declines in more than three years. Exports fell by 3.6% to $44 billion, including a 20.9% drop in crude oil and bitument on lower prices. Consumer goods fell 8% to $5.91 billion, while the metals and non-metallic mineral category declined 9.7% to $4.54 billion.

The August deficit moves toward the record $3.56 billion deficit set in March, with the year-to-date deficit of $17.4 billion being a record high for the country.

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