The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau said that the U.S. trade deficit rose from $40.96 billion in May to $44.51 billion in June, its highest level since February. The data have been quite volatile through the first half of 2016, averaging $40.79 billion. That was somewhat lower than the $41.70 billion average for 2015 as a whole. The higher figure in June’s report stemmed from an increase in goods imports (up from $182.05 billion to $186.41 billion) which was enough to offset a slight increase in goods exports (up from $119.83 billion to $120.37 billion).
A fair share of the jump in the trade deficit came from petroleum, with the petroleum trade deficit up from $2.89 billion in May – its lowest level since February 1999 – to $5.32 billion in June. Petroleum imports accelerated from $11.12 billion to $13.28 billion, but exports of petroleum edged down from $8.23 billion to $7.95 billion. Higher crude oil prices likely played a role in the increase in imports. Read More