US trade deficit narrows to smallest in four months

Containers at shipping port The US trade deficit narrowed in August, but the trade gap with China is at a record

The US trade deficit with the rest of the world narrowed in August to the smallest gap in four months, official figures have shown.

The trade gap narrowed to $45.61bn (£29.1bn), from a revised $45.63bn in July, the Commerce Department said.

However, the politically-sensitive trade gap with China widened to a record high.

US imports and exports both slowed in the month as the weakening in the global economy took hold.

For August, exports slipped by $95m to $177.6bn, as sales of expensive industrial items like cars, aircraft engines and oil field equipment all declined.

Imports fell by $111m to $223.2bn.

China gap

With China, which the US has accused of keeping its currency artificially low, imports into the US reached a record $37.4bn.

Between January and July, the US trade deficit with China was running 10% higher than the same point last year - when the trade gap between the two ballooned.

On Tuesday, the US Senate passed a bill that would mandate the imposition of tariffs on some Chinese goods if the US Treasury determines that China is manipulating its currency.

Earlier this week, Congress also approved three free trade agreements - with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

More on This Story

US Economy

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.