U.S. Trade Deficit Climbs 2.9% In May To $41.9 Billion

By MarketWatch Pulse

The nation's trade deficit rose 2.9% in May, mostly because the U.S. exported fewer aircraft and other manufactured goods. The U.S. trade deficit climbed to a seasonally adjusted $41.9 billion from a revised $40.7 billion in April, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a deficit of $42.1 billion. Exports dipped 0.8% to $188.6 billion, hurt by a strong dollar and weaker growth outside the U.S. Imports slid 0.1% to $230.5 billion. The trade deficit has averaged $41.3 billion in the first two months of the second quarter, down from a $43.4 billion average in the first quarter. So the trade deficit is unlikely to be a big drag on U.S. gross domestic product in the second quarter like it was in the first three months of the year, when the economy contracted. For the first time since 1990 the U.S. ran a surplus with Canada, the result of lower oil imports and a stronger dollar. The deficits with China and the European Union both rose, however.

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