U.S. trade deficit falls to 11-month low
By Jeffry Bartash, MarketWatch
Deficit shrinks 2.7% to $42.4 billion in August; China gap widens
The numbers: The U.S. trade deficit dropped 2.7% in August to $42.4 billion from $43.6 billion in July. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a $42.6 billion gap.
Imports slipped 0.1% to $237.7 billion. Exports rose 0.4% to $195.3 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday (https://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/trade/2017/trad0517.htm).
What happened: The trade deficit shrank mainly because of higher U.S. exports of drugs, semiconductors and equipment for phone networks. Imports were essentially unchanged.
Imports of goods from China set a fresh record at $45.8 billion. The goods deficit with Vietnam was the highest ever at $3.6 billion.
The big picture: A smaller deficit boosts gross domestic product and third-quarter GDP could get a lift.