MarketWatch reports that the U.S. trade deficit “jumped 8.7% in June to a 10-month high of $44.5 billion, reflecting the higher cost of oil and more imports of consumer goods such as cellphones and drugs.”
The deficit increased because imports rose by $227.7 billion, while exports were up only $183.2 billion, with particularly sluggish oil and new-car exports. The trade gap with China hit its highest mark since last November, thanks to heavy imports of “Chinese-made computers, cell phones, and clothing,” per ABC News. On the other hand, U.S. exports to the European Union and United Kingdom were up.
Reuters notes June was the third straight month to see an increase in the trade deficit. Economists predicted a much smaller deficit of $43.1 billion by the end of June, compared to the inflation-adjusted $64.7 billion that was realized.