U.S. trade deficit jumps to 12-year high in July

A woman takes photos of the container ship Ever Legacy being offloaded after arriving from Taipei at the Port of Los Angeles, which is the nation’s busiest container port, on March 6, 2020 in Terminal Island, California.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

The U.S. trade deficit surged to its highest level since 2008 in July amid a record increase in imports, suggesting that trade could be a drag on economic growth in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday the trade deficit jumped 18.9% to $63.6 billion, the highest since July 2008.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade gap widening to $58 billion in July.

Imports soared by a historic 10.9% to $231.7 billion. Goods imports vaulted 12.3% to $196.4 billion. Exports increased 8.1% to $168.1 billion. Goods exports rose 11.9% to $115.5 billion.

A smaller trade bill contributed to gross domestic product over the last three quarters. The coronarivus crisis severely disrupted trade flows, which are now picking up.

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