The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade
gap narrowed 0.5 percent to $40.1 billion. July's trade deficit
was revised to $40.3 billion.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected the deficit to widen
to $40.9 billion in August from a previously reported $40.6
billion shortfall a month earlier.
Exports increased 0.2 percent to $198.5 billion in August,
supported by rising sales aboard of U.S. capital goods, consumer
goods and industrial supplies.
Imports edged up 0.1 percent to $238.6 billion. Imports of
petroleum and autos declined. Petroleum imports were at their
lowest level since Nov. 2010, aided by a domestic energy boom
that has seen the United States reduce its dependence on foreign
oil. Imports of capital goods were the highest on record.
The politically sensitive trade gap with China narrowed in
August, while exports to Japan rose to their highest level since
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci)
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