US trade gap widens slightly in August

The US trade deficit widened slightly in August as exports fell from the previous month, according to Commerce Department data published Thursday.

The US trade gap with the rest of the world was $38.8 billion, up from a downwardly revised July reading of $38.6 billion.

In August, imports were essentially unchanged from July, at $228.0 billion. An increase in imports of services, mainly in travel, was offset by a decrease in goods, mostly consumer goods.

Exports fell to $189.2 billion in August from $189.3 billion the prior month. The drop in exports reflected a decrease in exports of goods, particularly industrial supplies and materials.

The three-month moving average for the deficit fell to $37.3 billion in August, from $39.0 billion in July.