FILE PHOTO: Shipping containers are seen at the port in Bayonne, New Jersey, U.S., August 21, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. trade deficit in goods increased in August amid a rise in imports as businesses replenished depleted inventories, suggesting trade could again be a drag on economic growth in the third quarter.

The goods trade deficit rose 0.9% to $87.6 billion last month, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. Businesses are rebuilding inventories to keep up with strong domestic demand as the economy normalizes after severe disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trade has subtracted from gross domestic product growth for four straight quarters.

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