WASHINGTON (AFP) – A surge in imports and skyrocketing oil prices pushed the US trade deficit in April to 60.9 billion dollars, government data showed Tuesday.
The monthly jump in the trade gap by 7.8 percent was the largest since September 2005 and was higher than economists’ estimates of 60 billion dollars.
The Commerce Department report showed a surge of 9.4 billion dollars in imports, including 5.4 billion dollars for oil and related products, outstripping the increase in exports of 5.0 billion dollars.
The politically sensitive trade deficit with China leapt 25.9 percent to 20.2 billion dollars, representing one-third of the overall gap.
The other big factor, petroleum, accounted for 34.5 billion dollars of the overall deficit. That was the second highest on record after the gap posted in January 2008.