Overall US Trade Deficit Down

THE United States trade deficit shrank by 12.9 percent in August, despite the fact that Japanese imports to the US surged to a record high, the US Commerce Department said yesterday.

The trade deficit in goods and services fell to $9.74 billion as American exports hit an all-time high, reflecting increases in exports of commercial aircraft, industrial machinery, computer chips, and cigarettes.

The improvement was expected to calm financial markets, which were unsettled by the sharply widening deficit in July.

Despite the overall improvement in August, the US trade deficit with Japan continued to worsen, climbing to $5.8 billion, the third highest on record.

Bankruptcy in China

THE Chinese government will allow some state-owned companies go bankrupt very soon, a senior official was quoted as saying yesterday. The State Council will issue a notice specifying which state-owned enterprises will declare bankruptcy and how to deal with their debts and employees, Wang Zhongyu, minister of the State Economic and Trade Commission, told the official China Daily.

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