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U.S. trade deficit widens in July as imports and exports jump

By Greg Robb

U.S. exports rise for first time in four months

The numbers: The U.S. international trade deficit widened 2% in July to $65 billion, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted the deficit would widen to a seasonally adjusted $68 billion from the initial estimate of a deficit of $65.5 billion in June.

The trade gap in June was revised down to $63.7 billion.

The deficit is below its second-quarter average, meaning that trade could be a boost to growth in the July-September quarter.

Key details: Both exports and imports rose in July, with imports rising at a slightly faster pace.

Exports rose 1.6% to $251.7 billion in July. This is the first gain in exports after three straight monthly declines.

Imports jumped 1.7% to $316.7 billion. This is the third monthly increase in imports this year.

Big picture: From a longer term perspective, the trade deficit is falling. Year-to-date, the trade gap is down 21.4% from the same period one year ago. Trade has been suffering from the was in Ukraine and the recent deterioration in the global outlook. Weak demand from Europe and China has been pushing exports down.

Market reaction: U.S. stocks DJIA SPX were set to open lower on Wednesday. The 10-year Treasury yield BX:TMUBMUSD10Y fell to 4.24%.

-Greg Robb

This content was created by MarketWatch, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. MarketWatch is published independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal.

 

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09-06-23 0849ET

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