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Economy in Brief

U.S. Goods Trade Deficit Continues to Deepen in August
by Tom Moeller  September 29, 2020

• Goods trade deficit widened more than expected as both export & import growth remained firm.

• Y/Y export deterioration continues to surpass imports.

The advance estimate of the U.S. trade deficit in goods widened to $82.94 billion last month from $80.11 billion in July. An $81.8 billion deficit had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Exports improved 2.8% (-13.3% y/y) following a 12.0% jump. Industrial supplies & materials exports surged 10.6% (-11.0% y/y) while foods, feeds & beverages rose 9.8% (-3.3% y/y). Nonauto consumer goods exports rose 1.2% (-11.2% y/y) but auto exports eased 0.7% (-14.0% y/y). Exports of capital goods fell 3.9% (-18.2% y/y).

Imports increased 3.1% (-4.3% y/y) after surging 12.4% in July. Nonauto consumer goods imports rose 7.0% (2.4% y/y) while auto imports gained 6.2% (-11.9% y/y). Foods, feeds & beverage imports increased 5.3% (6.8% y/y) and capital goods imports rose 1.4% (-4.1% y/y. Industrial materials & supplies imports declined 4.6% (-11.3% y/y).

The advance international trade data can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectation figure is from the Action Economics Forecast Survey, which is in AS1REPNA.

Advance U.S. Foreign Trade in Goods (Customs Value $) Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y 2019 2018 2017
U.S. Trade Deficit ($ bil.) -82.94 -80.11 -70.95 -73.66
(8/19)
-854.37 -872.04 -792.40
Exports (% Chg) 2.8 12.0 14.4 -13.3 -1.4 7.7 6.6
Imports (% Chg) 3.1 12.4 5.1 -4.3 -1.6 8.5 7.0

Note: Current month is based on Advance Trade data; Previous months reflect revised data from International Trade release.

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