Imports decreased 0.1% in August, and exports increased 0.4% from July. August exports of goods and services reached the highest level since December 2014, and exports of services were the highest on record, not adjusted for inflation.
The dollar has weakened this year, making U.S. exports cheaper for foreign customers. Domestic consumer spending in the U.S. has been solid – contributing to the import figures
It important to note that Global economic growth slowed in 2016, falling from 3.4 percent in 2015 to 3.1 percent in 2016. Economic growth in the United States also slowed in 2016 as did the economies of most major U.S. trading partners
In 2016, the U.S. dollar appreciated 1.1 percent against a major foreign currencies, including against some of our main trading partners. By the end of 2016, the dollar had appreciated 18.8 percent against the Mexican peso and 6.3 percent against the Chinese yuan. The dollar depreciated, however, against the Canadian dollar (by 4.0 percent), the Japanese yen (by 1.8 percent), and the euro (by 1.8 percent).
Agricultural products were the only goods sector to experience a trade surplus in 2016, with $9.3 billion more in exports than imports.