Trade deficit highest since ’08 as imports outpace export gain
The trade deficit rose in May to an 18-month peak as rising imports offset another solid gain in U.S. exports. The surge in imports was a hopeful sign for the economic recovery because it suggested businesses are optimistic that U.S. consumers will spend more in coming months.
The trade gap grew 4.8 percent to $42.3 billion, the largest deficit since November 2008, the Commerce Department said. U.S. exports of goods and services rose 2.4 percent to $152.3 billion. It was the largest monthly total since September 2008, the month the financial crisis struck with force.