The U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply to $8.82 billion in August, the smallest gap this year, as exports climbed to an all-time high. Big gains in sales of autos and commercial aircraft led the way.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the August imbalance was the best showing since last December, and was 21.2 percent below a revised July deficit of $11.19 billion.
The better-than-expected narrowing reflected a big jump in sales of American autos and parts, commercial aircraft and computer products, which boosted exports of goods and services by 3.7 percent to a record $65.74 billion. Imports remained near their record highs as well.