The Commerce Department reported Wednesday the U.S. trade deficit in August widened to $40.73 billion, slightly larger than the forecast expecting $39.3 billion. The trade deficit for July revised higher to $39.55 billion and, coupled together, the report indicated trade would likely be a net gain on an already abysmal gross domestic product in the last two quarters.
In August, exports of goods and services increased 0.8% to $187.85 billion, offsetting imports of goods and services gaining 1.2% to $228.58 billion.
The politically-sensitive U.S.-China trade deficit continued to widen by 11.6% to $33.85 billion in August. Exports to China rose 2.6%, while imports shot up by 9.5%.
Meanwhile, exports were up 1.2% to the European Union (EU) and 2.4% to the United Kingdom.
Oil prices averaged $39.38 per barrel in August, down 20.2% from a year ago.