August's U.S. trade deficit of $50.029 billion was not a record. But it was the third highest on record, as imports worth a seasonally adjusted $167.205 billion more than offset $108.176 billion worth of goods and services exports, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on October 13. August numbers are the most recent figures the department has available.
The closely watched U.S. trade deficit with China was up again, to $18.468 billion in August, bringing the total trade deficit with China for the first seven months of this year to $126.212 billion, not adjusted for seasonal variations.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department was releasing U.S. export and import price indexes for September 2005. They show prices on goods the U.S. imports rose 2.3% last month, the biggest monthly gain in nearly 15 years. Prices for imported petroleum rose 7.3% in September, putting that part of the index at its highest level since the petroleum price index since it was fist published in 1982. At the same time, prices for non-petroleum imports rose 1.2% in September, their biggest one-month increase since publication began in December 1988.
On the export side of the ledger, prices increased nine-tenths of a percentage point in September, a full percentage point higher than their one-tenth percent decline in August. September's increase in U.S. export prices, led by higher fuel prices, was the largest monthly increase since April 1995.