Friday, June 09, 2006

Oil, imports help push up trade deficit

The trade deficit is rising again after two months of declines, pushed by higher oil prices and a flood of imports from China. Analysts warned that oil prices of more than $70 per barrel will further swell the deficit in coming months.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that the gap between what the United States sells abroad and what it imports rose to $63.4 billion in April, 2.5 percent higher than the March imbalance of $61.9 billion.

The trade deficit fell in February and March, after hitting a record high of $66.2 billion in January. While economists noted that the April deficit was smaller than the $65 billion that had been expected, it was still the sixth-largest imbalance on record.

Read more here.

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