Trade deficit rises to $54.9B in August

Trade deficit rises to $54.9B in August

The U.S. trade deficit grew to $54.9 billion in August, a 1.6 percent increase from July, and a spike over last year.

When compared to the same period last year, the overall trade deficit was up $28.3 billion, or 7.1 percent, as exports dropped slightly and imports spiked.

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Analysts point to President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE's trade war as a factor in the increased deficit, though the strong dollar and the growing budget deficit are major factors as well.

Trump has pointed to large trade deficits as a sign of economic weakness, and promised to bring them down, even though a large deficit is not necessarily a sign of a bad economy.

Chinese officials are set to arrive in Washington next week in an effort to negotiate a trade deal between the U.S. and China and scale back the trade war.  

Trump has also threatened to increase 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports by 5 percentage points on Oct. 15, just days after the negotiations.