Widening Trade Gap May Slow Third-Quarter Growth
The U.S. international trade gap widened to $50.1 billion in July from $45.7 billion, a wider gap than the $50.0 billion deficit expected and the largest monthly increase since March 2015, data released by the Commerce Department Wednesday morning showed.
The overall July trade gap exceeded the second-quarter average, as did the census goods gap and the chained trade gap. If the trade gap does not narrow in August or September, net exports could be a drag on third-quarter growth.
The trade gaps with China and the EU both hit record high levels in July, ammunition for those in favor of further tariffs. The gap with Canada also widened this month, while the gap with Mexico narrowed.
Both were wider than a year ago.