U.S. Trade Deficit Widens to Record August as Imports Rebound


The U.S. commerce deficit widened to a contemporary document in August as American shoppers continued to point out a robust urge for food for imported items similar to pharmaceutical merchandise and toys, although supply-chain disruptions continued to constrain international commerce.

The Commerce Division on Tuesday mentioned the trade gap in goods and services expanded to $73.3 billion in August from $70.3 billion in July as the rise in imports outpaced the expansion in exports. The August deficit was barely bigger than the prior record of $73.2 billion in June.

Imports rose 1.4% in August to $287 billion, additionally a document excessive, reflecting greater shipments of shopper items, in addition to industrial provides by enterprise prospects.

As many economies around the globe continued to emerge from pandemic-related restrictions, exports additionally rose to $213.7 billion, up 0.5% from July.

Economists polled by The Wall Avenue Journal had forecast a commerce deficit of $70.7 billion for August.

Although shipments into and out of the U.S. grew general in August, points with global-supply chains continued. As a severe shortage of semiconductors compelled auto makers to scale back their manufacturing, exports of automobiles and elements fell 8%, whereas imports additionally shrank 5.2%.

Citing the chip scarcity and traditionally low inventories,

General Motors Co.

mentioned final week its auto gross sales within the U.S. fell roughly 33% in the third quarter.

Transportation-industry representatives say congestion at ports and labor shortages proceed to create bottlenecks in cross-border commerce.

“We’re witnessing unprecedented disruptions and international delays and shortages on important items together with electronics, meals, gasoline and medical provides,” the Worldwide Chamber of Transport and different transportation {industry} teams wrote in a joint letter to the United Nations Basic Meeting final week. “Shopper demand is rising and the delays look set to worsen forward of Christmas and proceed into 2022.”

After a quick pullback earlier in the summertime, imports into the U.S. rebounded in August according to stronger shopper demand. Personal spending on goods and services rose 0.8% in August following a 0.1% decline in July, the Commerce Division reported Friday. The rise got here as private earnings edged upward by 0.2% in August, reflecting wage good points and the federal authorities’s distribution of kid tax credit.

Satellite tv for pc photographs present the dimensions of the backlog at ports in California, as ongoing provide chain points now threaten the vacation buying season. WSJ’s Jennifer Smith explains what’s inflicting the holdups for ships and cargo. Picture: Planet Labs Inc

Write to Yuka Hayashi at

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