U.S. Trade Gap Explodes To Record In June

By Agence France-Presse The U.S. trade gap exploded to a record $55.8 billion in June, the sharpest deterioration in more than five years, the government said Aug. 13. The shortfall mushroomed 19.1%, the biggest one-month rise since February 1999, to a seasonally adjusted $55.8 billion, the U.S. Commerce Department said. The trade gap shattered the previous record deficit in April of $48.2 billion and appeared to put the country on the path to an unprecedented annual deficit. Exports crumbled $4.2 billion, or 4.3%, to $92.8 billion, the steepest decline since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Commerce Department said. Foreign demand weakened for U.S.-made capital goods, industrial supplies, foods, motor vehicles and consumer goods. Imports, however, climbed $4.7 billion, or 3.3%, to $148.6 billion. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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