August Trade Balance

The trade deficit grew slightly in August after July’s revision according to Bureau of Economic Analysis. The monthly shortfall was $38.8 billion which is slightly better than the July deficit of $39.1 billion (originally $38.6 billion). It appears our trading partners wanted less of the goods and services America provides (exports fell $0.1 billion) while we purchased virtually the same amount of foreign wares and services as in the prior period.

The month was marked by divergent directions in goods and services. Exports of goods fell $0.3 billion while imports ticked down $0.1 billion. On the other hand, service exports and imports increased by $0.1 billion and $0.2 billion respectively.

The trade gap has been trending lower. The three month average deficit has fallen to $37.3 billion from $39.9 billion in July. Also, the shortfall has declined by $5.2 billion year-over-year. During the last twelve months, exports grew by $7.2 billion and imports climbed $1.9 billion.

The global economy’s upward trend remains intact. Americans continue to buy more from our trading partners, and foreign buyers continue to demand our domestic products and services. Because of the amount of time it takes to gather the information, this report comes out with considerable lag. With all the nation has been through since the end of August, Atlas anxiously awaits the September and October iterations of this report to see if there was any trade damage done while Washington D.C. was throwing fits. (by C. Cox)