The trade deficit swelled to $US48.3 billion in August, according to the Department of Commerce.
Economists had estimated that the trade deficit, or the excess of imports over exports, increased to $US48 billion from $US41.81 in the prior month. Core imports rose 2.6%, driven by consumer goods.
“In one line: Horrible; trade is set to be a significant drag on Q3 GDP growth,” wrote Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson in a client note.
Shepherdson added that exports have not yet recovered from the West Coast port disruptions earlier this year.
The goods and services deficit has increased 5.2%, or $US17.6 billion year-to-date.
There were surpluses with South and Central America (meaning exports continued to surpass imports), while there were deficits with China, the EU, and Canada. The US’ deficit with China increased $US4.2 billion to $US32.9 billion, the highest reported with any country.