Ahead of the Bell: US trade gap

US trade gap expected to widen in August after hitting 5-month low in July

Associated Press
US trade deficit widens to $48.3 billion in August

View photo

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2015 file photo, trucks move containers at the Port of Los Angeles. The Commerce Department reports on the U.S. trade gap for August 2015 on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Commerce Department reports on the August U.S. trade gap at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Tuesday.

WIDER GAP: Economists believe the deficit increased to $44.5 billion, according to a survey by the data firm FactSet.

ROLLER COASTER: In July, the U.S. trade deficit fell to $41.9 billion, the lowest in five months, with a small bump in exports and declining imports reflecting a big drop in shipments of consumer goods like cell phones.

But economists believe exports tumbled in August as a slowdown in global growth, led by China, and a rising dollar dampened demand for American-made products.

So far this year, the trade deficit is running 3.6 percent above last year, reflecting weak exports. There is a concern that the export situation will curb overall U.S. growth.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that slowing growth in China, the world's second largest economy, combined with volatile financial markets and falling raw materials prices could lead to much weaker global growth.

China's troubles have sent the prices of raw materials such as oil and copper down sharply, increasing economic problems in Brazil, Russia and other countries that rely on commodity exports.

View Comments (39)