The U.S. trade deficit narrowed slightly to a four-month low in August but the trade deficit with China hit a record $29 billion, as the Senate attempts to punish the country for manipulating its currency.
The overall trade deficit fell to $45.6 billion in August from a revised $45.6 billion in July, the Commerce Department said. For the year, the deficit is running an annual rate of $564.3 billion, 13 percent higher than last year. The real, or adjusted-inflation deficit, which economists use to measure the impact of trade on GDP, rose to $47 billion from $46 billion in July.
U.S. exports fell 0.7 percent to $177.6 billion, partly because of an 8.5 percent decline in vehicle exports. Imports fell by $111 million to $223.2 billion as the U.S. reduced its imports of cars, apparel, furniture and televisions.
At the same time, the U.S. imported fewer cars, clothes, televisions and furniture. Imports fell by $111 million to $223.2 billion.
The value of U.S. crude oil imports in August rose to $31.04 billion from $29.31 billion as higher import volume offset a drop in prices. Crude oil imports hit a 2 ½-yer high in June but have declined with falling prices.
Although the overall trade deficit was down, the U.S. trade deficit with China rose 7.4 percent. Exports increased 2.9 percent to $8.41 billion, while imports rose 6.5 percent to $37.36 billion.