US Trade Deficit Surges to $50.2B in May

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The US trade deficit has hit a 31-month high of $50.2 billion in May as higher oil prices push imports higher compared to exports, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

The United States Commerce Department on Tuesday said that country’s trade deficit widened to $50.2 billion in May as surging oil prices push imports while exports slipped from its record-high levels in April.

In a report, the Commerce Department said that trade deficit hits $50.2 billion, the highest level in 31 months (October 2008). The figures also exceeded earlier analysts’ expectations of $44 billion for the period.

The department also said that US imports rose by 2.6 percent to $225.1 billion – the highest level since the record-high $231.6 billion set in July 2008 prior to the recession.

The surge in imports was attributed to the highest capital goods and food consumption as well as oil, which is being imported into the US at $108.70 per barrel – the highest since August 2008.

On the other hand, exports continued to make good performance, but slipped by 0.5 percent to $174.9 billion as shipments to traditional markets like China, European Union, and emerging markets also slowed down.

The US trade gap with China alone rose by 15 percent to $25 billion as imports beats exports at $32.8 billion and $7.8 billion, respectively.

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