When the U.S. Commerce Department reports international trade numbers for May on July 12, they are likely to show a U.S. trade deficit of $64.2 billion, predicts Merrill Lynch & Co., New York. That would be $800 million greater than April's $63.4 billion deficit.
Other forecasters are looking for a May U.S. international trade deficit of $62 billion to $66.7 billion.
Merrill expects the data to show that both imports and exports grew by 1.4% in May. "Of course, the sheer magnitude of imports relative to exports is why the deficit will widen, even though both are expected to post the same percentage increase," explains the New York-based financial firm.