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Financial News: U.S. Trade Deficit Widens As Imports Jump More

U.S. Trade Deficit Widens As Imports Jump More Than Exports

07/03/2019 - 09:27:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - A report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed the U.S. trade deficit widened by more than anticipated in the month of May, as the value of imports jumped by much more than the value of exports.

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit widened to $55.5 billion in May from a revised $51.2 billion in April.

Economists had expected the trade deficit to widen to $54.0 billion from the $50.8 billion originally reported for the previous month.

Andrew Hunter, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said the wider than expected deficit suggests net trade was a "slightly bigger drag on second-quarter GDP growth than we had previously anticipated."

"Despite the recent ceasefire agreed between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, we still think it is slightly more likely than not that the trade dispute with China will ultimately escalate further," Hunter said.

He added, "The upshot is that net trade is likely to remain a modest drag on growth over the second half of this year, which we expect to compound a sharp slowdown in domestic demand growth."

The wider trade deficit came as the value of imports surged up by 3.3 percent to $266.2 billion in June after falling to $257.6 billion in April.

The dollar value of imports of passenger cars, crude oil, capital goods and consumer goods also showed significant increases during the month.

The spike in the value of imports compared to a 2.0 percent jump in the value of exports, which shot up to $210.6 billion in May after dropping to $206.4 billion in April.

The rebound in the value of exports reflected notable increases in exports of capital goods, consumer goods, and soybeans.

The report also said the goods deficit widened to $76.1 billion in May from $71.7 billion in April, while the services surplus inched up to $20.6 billion from $20.5 billion.

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