U.S. trade deficit hits record $73.3 billion in August

<p><p>WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit increased to a record $73.3 billion in August as a small gain in exports was swamped by a much larger increase in imports.</p></p><p><p>The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the monthly trade deficit increased 4.2% in August, rising to an all-time high, surpassing the previous record of $73.2 billion set in June.</p></p><p><p>The trade deficit represents the gap between what the country exports to the rest of the world and the imports it purchases from other countries.</p></p><p><p>In August, exports rose 0.5% to $213.7 billion, reflecting revived overseas demand.</p></p><p><p>But imports, even with all the supply chain problems at ports, were up an even stronger 1.4% to $287 billion.</p></p><p><p>The politically sensitive goods deficit with China surged 10.8% to $31.7 billion in August.</p></p><p><p>This year’s deficit with China through eight months totals $218.9 billion, up 13.7% from the same period a year ago.</p></p><p><p>The total deficit so far this year $558.1 billion, 33.7% higher than last year when pandemic-related shutdowns curbed Americans’ appetite for foreign goods.</p></p><p><p>Analysts said they expect the deficit surge will start to lessen now that other economies are beginning to revive and purchase more exports.</p></p>