The US trade deficit spiked in August to its highest level in six months as exports of tariff-targeted goods fell and imports hit a record high, suggesting that the trade war with China could lower economic growth in the third quarter.
The US Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap widened to $53.2 billion in August, an increase of 6.4 percent, from $50 billion in July.
The trade gap — the difference between what America sells and what it buys abroad — was $50 billion in July.
Exports of goods and services fell 0.8 percent to $209.4 billion in August. Soybean exports dropped $1.0 billion and shipments of crude oil fell $0.9 billion. Imports of goods and services increased 0.6 percent to a record $262.7 billion in August.
The politically sensitive goods trade deficit with China surged 4.7 percent to a record high of $38.6 billion. The trade gap with Mexico hit $8.7 billion — both the highest monthly totals ever.