WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. trade deficit surged in June to the highest level in 20 months and imports of foreign consumer goods hit an all-time high. But U.S. exports faltered, representing a setback for the global hopes of American manufacturers.
The Commerce Department says the deficit jumped 18.8 percent in June compared to May, widening to $49.9 billion. The wider deficit came as a surprise to economists who had forecast a smaller trade gap because of lower global oil prices.
U.S. exports slipped 1.3 percent to $150.5 billion. Sales of American farm products, computers and telecommunications equipment all declined. Imports rose 3 percent to $200.3 billion. Imports of consumer goods surged to a record high as shipments of cell phones, household appliances, televisions and clothing all increased.