In this photo taken Wednesday March 16, 2011, a container...

In this photo taken Wednesday March 16, 2011, a container ship is docked at the container port in Dalian in northeastern China's Liaoning province. Credit: AP

The U.S. trade deficit changed little in August, but the United States still managed to post a record monthly trade gap with China, government data showed Thursday.

The deficit held steady at $45.6 billion in August from the prior month, the Commerce Department said. The trade gap in July was revised up from the initial estimate of $44.8 billion.

The deficit in August was close to the consensus of analysts surveyed by MarketWatch.

After two months of deficits above $50 billion, the trade gap narrowed in July by 11.4 percent. This is the largest percentage decline since May 2009. The government removes inflation to render the figures used in calculating gross domestic product. Using this method, the trade deficit widened 2.1 percent to $47.0 billion.

The U.S. trade deficit with China widened to a record $29.0 billion in August from $28.2 billion in the same month last year and $27.0 billion in July. The U.S. trade deficit with China is $189.3 billion for all of 2011.

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved a bill to allow new duties on goods from China and other countries that lawmakers say manipulate their currencies.

-- MarketWatch

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