The trade deficit widened marginally in August but from an improved July number. The August trade gap posted at $38.8 billion compared to $38.6 billion in July (originally $39.1 billion). The market median forecast was for a $40.0 billion gap. Exports slipped 0.1 percent, following a 0.6 percent decline in July. Imports were unchanged in August after a 1.3 percent gain the prior month.
The slight worsening in the trade gap was primarily due a modest widening in the nonpetroleum goods deficit which grew to $38.5 billion in August from $38.3 billion in July. The petroleum deficit decreased to $18.6 billion from $18.7 billion in July. The services surplus nudged down to $19.4 billion from $19.5 billion.
On a not seasonally adjusted basis, the July figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with Hong Kong $3.7 ($2.9 for July), Brazil $1.7 ($1.7), Australia $1.4 ($1.5), and Singapore $1.1 ($0.6) among others. Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China $29.9 ($30.1), European Union $9.8 ($13.9), OPEC $7.3 ($7.4), Japan $6.4 ($6.8), Germany $5.4 ($6.4), Mexico $4.9 ($4.1), Saudi Arabia $3.6 ($3.3), and Canada $2.3 ($2.7) among others.
The latest report still shows global trade to be on the sluggish side. Manufacturers in the U.S. still are not getting a boost from overseas demand. But at least petroleum imports (dollar value) are not rising.