U.S. Trade Deficit Hits Highest Level in History to $68 Billion in July

US Trade DeficitThe U.S. trade deficit hit a record $68 billion in July, surpassing the old monthly record of $66.6 billion set last October, according to the Commerce Department. High oil prices in July pushed US foreign oil bill to the highest level in history. The July deficit jumped 5% from the June imbalance of $64.8 billion (revised). 

The July trade deficit was higher than Wall Street expected. The median estimate of 22 economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires was a deficit of $65.50 billion. (WSJ)

  • The deficit is running at an annual rate of $776 billion
  • U.S. exports edged down 1.1% percent to $120 billion 
  • Imports rose 1% from June level to a record high of $188 billion
  • US foreign oil bill climbed 4.8% to an all-time high of $28.5 billion
  • The deficit with China declined slightly in July to $19.6 billion

So far this year, the deficit is running at an annual rate of $776 billion, putting the country on course to rack up a record annual deficit for the fifth straight year. 

For July, U.S. exports edged down 1.1% percent to $120 billion -- still the second highest level in history. Sales of American jetliners, computers and food products all slipped.

US foreign oil bill climbed 4.8% to an all-time high of $28.5 billion, reflecting record oil prices in July. Crude oil prices have since come down by about 13%.

The deficit with China declined slightly in July to $19.6 billion but is still on track to far exceed last year's $202 billion deficit, the highest ever recorded with a single country. US trade deficit with Japan rose by 8.1% to $7.6 billion.

The deficit with Canada, America's biggest trading partner, edged up to $5.9 billion while the imbalance with Mexico narrowed to $5.1 billion. The deficit with the 25-nation European Union jumped to $13.4 billion, up from $9 billion in June. (AP)

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