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US trade deficit widens

WASHINGTON, Oct 20: The US trade deficit widened to a record $ 16.77 billion in August from 14.5 billion in July, as exports sagged - not...

WASHINGTON, Oct 20: The US trade deficit widened to a record $ 16.77 billion in August from 14.5 billion in July, as exports sagged – notably to China-and imports surged, the commerce department reported today. The August gap was the worst since the monthly goods and services deficit began to be compiled in January 1992. Wall Street analysts had foreseen a shortfall of $ 15 billion.

Imports rose 2.2 per cent in August to $ 91.6 billion while exports fell 0.4 per cent to $ 74.8 billion, the lowest level of exports since January 1997. For first eight months of the year deficit expanded to $ 109.9 billion, compared with $ 72.5 billion a year back. The trade deficit with Japan widened to $ 5.2 billion from $ 4.5 billion a year earlier. In July, the deficit with Japan was also $ 5.2 billion.

With China the shortfall widened to $ 5.9 billion from $ 5.1 billion in August 1997 and $ 5.4 billion in July. The August deficit with China is the largest on record with any country except Japan. US exports to China of $900 million were the lowest since September 1996, while imports of $ 6.8 billion were a record.

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First published on: 21-10-1998 at 12:00:00 am
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