US trade deficit rises 9.7% in May to $54.6 billion
The U.S. trade deficit rose for the third straight month in May. Both exports and imports fell as the coronavirus outbreak continued to take a toll on world commerce.
The Commerce Department said Thursday that the gap between the goods and services the United States buys and what it sells abroad rose 9.7 per cent in May to $54.6 billion, highest since December 2018. The coronavirus pandemic has devastated world trade. U.S. exports fell 4.4 per cent in May to $144.5 billion, lowest since November 2009. Imports slid 0.9 per cent to $199.1 billion, lowest since July 2010.
The politically sensitive deficit in the trade of goods with China rose 7.3 per cent to $27.9 billion in May.
So far this year, the overall U.S. deficit in the trade of goods and services has fallen 9.1 per cent to $223.4 billion from $245.7 billion in January-May 2019.
World trade has plummeted in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak. In May, overall U.S. trade - exports plus imports - came in at $343.6 billion, down 28 per cent from May 2019. Exports of crude oil and petroleum products dropped sharply in May as did auto imports.
In May, the United States ran a $76.1 billion deficit in the trade of goods such as autos and appliances. But it ran a $21.5 billion surplus, smallest since February 2016, in the trade of services such as banking and education.
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