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Economy in Brief

U.S. Goods Trade Deficit Continues to Narrow in August
by Tom Moeller  September 28, 2022

• Deficit is lowest since October 2021.

• Exports ease for third straight month.

• Imports drop for fourth month in last five.

The advance estimate of the U.S. international trade deficit in goods narrowed to $87.3 billion in August from $90.2 billion in July. It was the shallowest deficit since last October. The deficit reached a peak of $125.7 billion in March of this year. An $89.0 billion deficit had been expected by the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Exports of goods declined 0.9% during August (+20.8% y/y) while imports fell 1.7% (+13.1% y/y).

The falloff in exports last month reflected an 8.9% drop (+10.7% y/y) in exports of autos & auto parts. Industrial supplies & materials weakened 3.5% (+29.8% y/y). Auto & auto parts exports fell 8.9% (+10.7% y/y). Working higher, nonauto consumer goods exports rose 8.0% (16.0% y/y). Exports of "other" goods surged 4.8% (37.1% y/y). Exports of foods, feeds & beverages gained 0.8% (24.6% y/y) while capital goods exports rose 0.4% (10.7% y/y).

The August import decline was led by a 6.9% drop (+17.7% y/y) in industrial supplies & materials imports. Capital goods imports declined 1.8% (+13.2% y/y) while nonauto consumer goods imports eased 0.2% (+7.9% y/y). To the upside, auto & parts imports gained 3.8% (22.9% y/y) while imports of foods, feeds & beverages rose 2.4% (11.7% y/y). Imports of "other" goods rose 1.0% (-5.9% 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.

Remote Work and Housing Demand from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is available here.

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