The American trade deficit widened by 16.3% in July to $32 billion (£19.5 billion), the biggest increase in 10 years, the Department of Commerce announced today.
This was much higher than the $27.5 billion deficit forecast by Wall Street economists, and was a 16% increase on June’s revised total of £27.5 billion.
Imports rose by 4.7% to $159.6 billion, from $152.4 billion in June, driven by increases in both the volume and price of oil.
There were increases in imports of motor vehicles, by $2.7 billion and consumer goods, which increased by $1.7 billion.
Exports increased by 2.2% to reach a 2009 high of $127.6 billion, from $124.9 billion in June.
Throughout July, exports in motor vehicles rose by $1.3 billion and exports in capital goods increased by $0.7 billion. Exports in food, feeds and drinks fell by $0.4 billion.
In July, America recorded a $20.4 billion trade deficit with China, up from £18.4 billion in June, and a $8.0 billion deficit with the European Union, nearly twice that of the $4.5 billion deficit recorded in June.