US trade deficit improved slightly, Commerce Department reports

The U.S. trade deficit declined slightly in July even though oil imports climbed to an all-time high.

The politically sensitive deficit with China also set a record.

The Commerce Department reported that the July trade gap fell by 2.6 percent to $57.9 billion (Ђ47 billion) from an imbalance of $59.5 billion in June, the second highest deficit on recordб the AP informs. Analysts believe the July improvement will be short-lived, given that oil prices continued to soar in August, reflecting the impact of Hurricane Katrina on oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.