US trade deficit narrows slightly amid escalating trade tensions


(File photo: VCG)

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The overall U.S. trade deficit narrowed slightly in June as both imports and exports declined amid escalating trade tensions, U.S. government figures showed on Friday.

The U.S. goods and services deficit was 55.2 billion U.S. dollars in June, down from the revised 55.3 billion dollars in May but higher than economists' expectation for 54.6 billion dollars, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

U.S. exports in June fell to 206.3 billion dollars, 4.4 billion dollars less than in May, while imports dropped to 261.5 billion dollars, down 4.6 billion dollars from the previous month, suggesting that trade tensions were curtailing trade flows.

While the Trump administration has tried to shrink the trade gap by imposing tariffs on various imports, the U.S. goods and services deficit increased 23.2 billion dollars, or 7.9 percent, from a year earlier.

Economists at the International Monetary Fund said earlier that America's persistent deficit with its trading partners resulted from its macroeconomic policy, urging it to adopt fiscal consolidation and implement structural policies to address external imbalances, instead of resorting to distorted trade actions.