American producers sold fewer industrial engines, electric generators and farm products to the rest of the world in June, pushing the trade deficit to the highest level since 2008 and dealing another blow to an already struggling economy.
The Commerce Department says the deficit rose 4.4 percent to $53.1 billion in June, the largest imbalance since October 2008. Imports fell 0.8 percent to $223.9 billion as crude oil prices fell for the first time in nine months. Exports dropped 2.3 percent to $170.9 billion, the biggest decline in more than two years.
The drop in exports, the second in a row, was a blow to hopes that rising overseas demand will boost the fortunes of American manufacturers in the face of a slump in spending by U.S. consumers.