U.S. trade deficit smallest in six months on rising exports

WASHINGTON, Sept 4 Thu Sep 4, 2014 8:34am EDT

A bird flies past a container ship belonging to China Shipping Container Lines at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California August 20, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A bird flies past a container ship belonging to China Shipping Container Lines at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, California August 20, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

WASHINGTON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in July to its lowest point in six months as exports rose to a record high, supporting views of sturdy economic growth in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday the trade gap fell 0.6 percent to $40.5 billion, the lowest since January. June's trade deficit was revised to $40.8 billion.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the deficit to widen to $42.2 billion in July from a previously reported $41.5 billion shortfall in June.

When adjusted for inflation, the deficit narrowed to $48.2 billion, the lowest since December 2013, from $48.9 billion in June, which could see economists raise their estimates for third quarter gross domestic product.

Trade weighed on growth in the April-June period.

Exports increased 0.9 percent to a record high of $198.0 billion in July, supported by a surge in goods, automobiles, parts and engines, as well as non-petroleum products.

Imports rebounded 0.7 percent in July to $238.6 billion after declining in June. The rebound in imports is a sign of underlying strength in domestic demand.

The increase in imports was driven by food and autos, which both hit record highs.

Petroleum imports declined, which saw the petroleum deficit hitting its lowest level since May 2009. A domestic energy boom has seen the United States reduce its dependence on foreign oil.

The politically sensitive trade gap with China was the highest on record in July.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao)

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Comments (2)
CountryPride wrote:
My God can the media get any more deceptive about their headlines. Smallest deficit in 6 months? Should we be cheering that we as a country went $40 billion more in debt in one month? What a bunch of psychopaths! YAY! Lost $40 billion dollars, but it’s less than the $42 billion we expected to lose. We’re doing great business! Thanks OWEbama and the geniuses in Washington.

Sep 04, 2014 9:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jdl51 wrote:
“Exports increased 0.9 percent to a record high of $198.0 billion in July”

Must be from all the hamburgers we’re shipping overseas from all those part time burger flipping jobs the right says are the only jobs being created.

Sep 04, 2014 11:00am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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