The U.S. trade deficit widened in August for the first time in three months as exports increased but imports increased more. The politically sensitive gap with China in the trade of goods narrowed.
The Commerce Department said Friday that the gap between what the United buys and what it sells abroad rose 1.6% to $54.9 billion from $54 billion in July. The deficit had fallen in June and July. But it is still up for the year despite President Donald Trump’s attempts to push it down by imposing taxes on imports and waging a trade war with China.
Exports blipped up 0.2% in August to $207.9 billion. Imports increased 0.5% to $262.8 billion on a big increase in shipments of cellphones, which are scheduled to be hit with new tariffs in December as part of the standoff with China.
From January through August, the deficit rose 7% to $428.7 billion from $400.4 billion a year earlier.
Read more on New Jersey News 12.