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US trade deficit rises helped by huge Olympics payment

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The US trade deficit edged higher in August as gold shipments boosted exports while imports rose in part on a huge Olympics broadcast rights payment, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

[WASHINGTON] The US trade deficit edged higher in August as gold shipments boosted exports while imports rose in part on a huge Olympics broadcast rights payment, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

But trade growth and the deficit remained close to recent lows, reflecting the slow global economy.

Exports were bolstered for a second month by strong soybean shipments, worth US$5.2 billion, and with a US$932 million surge in gold exports offsetting a US$790 million fall in aircraft deliveries.

On the import side, shipments of cellphones, crude oil and aircraft surged.

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Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said another noteworthy factor in the deficit rise was a 38 per cent rise to US$1.2 billion in foreign charges for the use of intellectual property: payment for Olympics broadcast rights.

In all the monthly deficit for goods and services came in at US$40.7 billion, up from US$39.6 billion in July. Exports rose 1.2 per cent to US$185.7 billion, while imports were up 0.8 per cent at US$227.4 billion.

Although trade remains relatively weak, the deficit is at a healthy level, according to analysts. For the first eight months of the year, the deficit was US$330.7 billion, 1.3 per cent below the same period in 2015.

AFP

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