The US trade deficit sharply grew in June to its widest since October 2008 as exports fell, official data showed Thursday.The Commerce Department said the international trade gap was a seasonally adjusted $53.1 billion, after an upwardly revised $50.8 billion in May.The June trade deficit was far wider than expected by most analysts, who penciled in an average estimate of $48.0 billion due to slowing demand as the economy staggers.
Imports fell 0.8 percent from May, to $223.9 billion. The decrease was mainly due to a decline in prices for oil and commodities used in manufacturing, a sector that slowed in June.
But in a more worrying development for US economic growth, exports fell for the second consecutive month in June, by 2.3 percent from May to $170.9 billion.
The sectors hardest hit by falling demand for US goods were industrial supplies and materials; capital goods; and foods, feeds and beverages.The unexpected drop in exports could lead to a lower estimate for second-quarter growth in gross domestic product, the broad measure of the nation's goods and services output.
The first estimate of GDP growth in the April-June period was a weaker than expected 1.3 percent rise from the same period in 2010