Trade Deficit Narrowed in July but Gap with China Widened

Washington, DC, September 4, 2019 -The goods and services deficit was $54.0 billion in July, down $1.5 billion from $55.5 billion in June, revised, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced.

According to Yahoo News, “The U.S. trade deficit narrowed slightly in July, but the gap with China, a focus of the Trump administration's ‘America First’ agenda, surged to a six-month high. The news comes “against the backdrop of an escalation in the trade war between the United States and China. The two economic giants slapped fresh tariffs on each other on Sunday, fanning fears of a global recession.”

The politically sensitive goods trade deficit with China increased 9.4% to $32.8 billion on an unadjusted basis, the highest since January, with imports jumping 6.4%. Exports to China fell 3.3% in July. Smoothing out seasonal fluctuations, the shortfall with China dropped 1.7% in July as both imports and exports dropped.

July exports were $207.4 billion, $1.2 billion more than June exports. July imports were $261.4 billion, $0.4 billion less than June imports.

The July decrease in the goods and services deficit reflected a decrease in the goods deficit of $1.6 billion to $73.7 billion and a decrease in the services surplus of $0.1 billion to $19.7 billion.

Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $28.2 billion, or 8.2%, from the same period in 2018. Exports decreased $3.4 billion or 0.2%. Imports increased $24.9 billion or 1.4%.