US trade deficit widens to $53.1bn as exports fall

Containers at shipping port
Image caption US trade deficit is at its highest level for 32 months

The US trade deficit with the rest of the world widened to $53.1bn (£32.9bn) in June, as exports fell faster than imports, official figures have shown.

The trade gap rose from an upwardly revised $50.8bn in May, the Commerce Department said, a bigger rise than analysts had expected.

Industrial goods accounted for much of the fall in exports.

The figures come amid growing concerns about the US economic recovery and the country's high debt levels.

"With fiscal austerity taking hold across Europe and growth in Asia slowing, specifically in China, room for export growth is suddenly shrinking," said Jeffrey Rosen, an economist at

"Even a historically low dollar could not drive excess foreign demand."

China trade

Total exports for the month fell by $4.1bn to $170.9bn, while imports fell by $1.9bn to $223.9bn.

Consumer goods exports actually increased, while cars and car parts were virtually unchanged from the previous month.

Imports and exports of services were virtually unchanged.

The US's deficit with China grew to $26.7bn, up from $25bn in May, while that with the European Union rose by $1bn to $9.8bn.

The US recorded a trade surplus with Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore and Egypt.

The overall trade deficit is the highest in 32 months.

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