U.S. trade deficit jumps to record high in June on strong import growth

The double-digit growth in consumer spending last quarter helped to left the level of gross domestic product

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Cargo containers sit idle at the Port of Los Angeles as a back-log of over 30 container ships sit anchored outside the Port in Los Angeles, California, February 18, 2015.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Cargo containers sit idle at the Port of Los Angeles as a back-log of over 30 container ships sit anchored outside the Port in Los Angeles, California, February 18, 2015.

REUTERS/Bob Riha, Jr./File Photo

WASHINGTON- The U.S. trade deficit surged to a record high in June as efforts by business to rebuild inventories to meet robust consumer spending drew in more imports.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday that the trade gap increased 6.7% to $75.7 billion in June, an all-time high.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a $74.1 billion deficit. Goods imports rose 1.8% to $239.1 billion, also a record high. Exports of goods gained 0.2% to $145.9 billion in June, an all-time high.

The government reported last week that consumer spending picked up in the second quarter, with outlays on goods rising solidly, even as demand is rotating back to services because of vaccinations against COVID-19.

The double-digit growth in consumer spending last quarter helped to left the level of gross domestic product above its peak in the fourth of 2019. Business inventories were depleted at a rapid clip in the second quarter.

The U.S. economy has rebounded more quickly from the pandemic than its main rivals because of massive fiscal stimulus, low interest rates and a high level of coronavirus vaccinations. That is putting pressure on the trade deficit, which has subtracted from GDP for four straight quarters.

(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Kevin Liffey) ((Lucia.Mutikani@thomsonreuters.com; 1 202 898 8315; Reuters Messaging: lucia.mutikani.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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