US trade deficit widens to $50.1b in July as imports rebound
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States trade deficit widened slightly more than expected in July as exports dipped, but a rebound in imports pointed to some firming in underlying demand early in the third quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday the trade gap increased 13.3 per cent to US$39.1 billion (S$50.1 billion). June's shortfall on the trade balance was revised to US$34.5 billion from the previously reported US$34.2 billion. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the trade deficit to rise to US$38.7 billion in July.
When adjusted for inflation, the trade gap rose to US$47.7 billion from US$43.8 billion in June. This measure goes into the calculation of gross domestic product (GDP).
Trade's contribution to GDP growth in the second quarter was neutral, but economists expect it to add to growth this quarter, and the rise in the so-called real trade deficit is probably not enough to change that view. The US economy grew at a 2.5 per cent annual rate in the April-June quarter, stepping up from the first-quarter's 1.1 per cent pace.