With the value of imports increasing by much more than the value of exports, the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing that the U.S. trade deficit widened by more than anticipated in the month of June.
The report said the trade deficit widened to $44.5 billion in June from a revised $41.0 billion in May. The deficit had been expected to widen to $43.0 billion from the $41.1 billion originally reported for the previous month.
The wider than expected deficit primarily reflected a jump in the value of imports, which surged up by 1.9 percent to $227.7 billion in June from $223.5 billion in May.
Imports of crude oil, pharmaceutical preparations, and cell phones and other household goods showed notable increases during the month.
Meanwhile, the report said the value of exports edged up by just 0.3 percent to $183.2 billion in June from $182.5 billion in May.
The uptick in the value of exports was partly due to a $1.1 billion jump in exports of civilian aircraft. Exports of corn, wheat, and artwork, antiques, stamps, and other collectibles also saw modest growth.
Paul Ashworth, Chief U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said the wider trade deficit in June means that second quarter GDP growth is likely to be downwardly revised to below 1 percent.
The Commerce Department noted that the goods deficit widened to $66.0 billion in June from $62.2 billion in May, while the services surplus edged up to $21.5 billion from $21.3 billion.