The U.S. trade deficit fell $1.2 billion to $42.4 billion in August, a net positive for third-quarter (3Q) gross domestic product (GDP). The data beat the median forecast marginally, which called for $42.5 billion.
The report released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), through the Department of Commerce, showed exports gained $0.8 billion to $195.3 billion from July. Imports declined by $0.4 billion to $237.7 billion.
The decrease in the trade deficit was fueled by a decline in the goods deficit of $0.9 billion to $64.4 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $0.3 billion to $22.0 billion.
Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $29.1 billion, or 8.8%, from the same period in 2016. Exports increased $84.9 billion or 5.8%. Imports increased $114.0 billion or 6.4%.
The deficit with the European Union (EU) decreased $1.2 billion to $10.9 billion in August. Exports increased by $1.4 billion to $24.2 billion, while imports increased $0.2 billion to $35.1 billion.
The politically-sensitive U.S. trade deficit with China fell $2.1 billion to $29.7 billion in August. Exports increased $0.8 billion to $11.6 billion, while imports decreased $1.2 billion to $41.3 billion.