US Trade Deficit Widens Sharply in June


The trade deficit widened a surprising 18.8 percent in June on a surge of consumer goods from China and other suppliers, suggesting second-quarter economic growth was much weaker than previously thought.

The monthly trade gap totaled $49.9 billion, the highest since October 2008, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday, as U.S. exports stumbled a bit.

U.S. imports of goods and services grew 3 percent in June to $200.3 billion, the highest since October 2008, in a show of strengthening domestic demand. Imports of consumer goods hit a record $43.1 billion and imports of non-petroleum goods were the highest since August 2008.

Imports from China soared to $32.9 billion, the highest since October 2008.

The closely watched U.S. trade deficit with the East Asian manufacturer widened to $26.2 billion, also the highest since October 2008, while U.S. exports to China fell slightly.

The big jump in the U.S. trade deficit follows Chinese government data on Tuesday that showed China's trade surplus surged to $28.7 billion in July, an 18-month high.

U.S. imports from Germany and the 27-nation European Union also had their best showing since October 2008.

Overall U.S. exports fell 1.3 percent in June to $150.5 billion, the biggest month-to-month drop since April 2009.

U.S. automotive exports were the highest since October 2008, but other important categories like capital goods, industrial supplies and materials and food, feeds and beverages posted declines.


TradingEconomics.com, Reuters
8/11/2010 10:28:07 AM