From the Department of Commerce reported:
The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that the goods and services deficit was $40.7 billion in August, up $1.2 billion from $39.5 billion in July, revised. August exports were $187.9 billion, $1.5 billion more than July exports. August imports were $228.6 billion, $2.6 billion more than July imports.
The trade deficit was larger than the consensus forecast of $39.0 billion.
The first graph shows the monthly U.S. exports and imports in dollars through August 2016.
Imports and exports both increased in August.
Exports are 14% above the pre-recession peak and up 1% compared to August 2015; imports are down 1% compared to August 2015.
It appears trade might be picking up a little.
The second graph shows the U.S. trade deficit, with and without petroleum.
Oil imports averaged $39.38 in August, down from $41.02 in July, and down from $49.33 in August 2015. The petroleum deficit has generally been declining and is the major reason the overall deficit has declined a little since early 2012.
The trade deficit with China decreased to $33.9 billion in August, from $35.0 billion in August 2015. The deficit with China is a substantial portion of the overall deficit, but the deficit with China has been declining.