The US trade deficit surged in August to the largest in 14 years with imports climbing again, suggesting that trade could be a drag on economic growth in the third quarter. 

The US Commerce Department said today the trade deficit jumped 5.9% to $67.1 billion, the widest since August 2006. 

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade gap widening to $66.1 billion in August. 

Today's figures show that Imports increased by 3.2% to $239 billion. Goods imports rose $6.5 billion to $203 billion. 

Meanwhile, exports increased 2.2% to $171.9 billion. Goods exports rose $3.5 billion to $119.1 billion. 

The closely watched trade deficit with China decreased $1.9 billion to $26.4 billion in August. 

A smaller trade bill contributed to gross domestic product over the last three quarters. The coronarivus crisis severely disrupted trade flows, which are now picking up.