An early look at U.S. trade patterns in July points to a wider trade deficit.
The advanced trade gap in goods — services are excluded — widened by 1.78% to $ 65.1 billion in July, the Commerce Department said Monday. Both exports and imports declined, but exports dropped at a faster pace in the month.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected a goods trade deficit of $64.6 billion.
Despite the wider deficit, economists expect trade to be positive to growth in the third quarter. U.S. exports are being helped by a rebound in global growth and a weaker dollar.
The government will release overall trade numbers for July next week, but the size of the trade deficit is generally tied to changes in exports and imports of goods. Trade patterns involving services rarely change much from month to month.
A wider deficit is a drag on gross domestic product, the official scorecard for the U.S. economy.
An advanced look at wholesale inventories, meanwhile, showed a 0.4% increase in July. And an early look at retail inventories reflected a 0.2% decline.