US trade deficit hits $44.5 billion, biggest in 10 months




WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit increased to the highest point in 10 months, driven up by a big rise in imports of oil and Chinese-made computers, cell phones and clothing.

The Commerce Department says the deficit rose to $44.5 billion in June, 8.7 percent higher than a revised May deficit of $41 billion. It was the biggest gap between what America sells abroad and what the country imports since a $44.6 billion deficit last August.

Exports, which have struggled this year because of the strong dollar and global weakness, edged up 0.3 percent to $183.2 billion. Imports rose a faster 1.9 percent to $227.7 billion, led by a 19.4 percent jump in petroleum imports.

The politically sensitive deficit with China increased to $29.8 billion, the highest in seven months.
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