Business

U.S. trade deficit plunges in June to lowest level since late 2009

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly plunged in June to its lowest level since late 2009 as exports jumped to a record high, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

A decrease in imports, particularly crude oil, also helped the deficit drop to $34.2 billion, from $44.1 billion the previous month. 

The last time the trade deficit was lower was in October 2009.

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Analysts had expected the deficit to fall only slightly, to about $43.5 billion.

Exports increased 2.2% in June to a record of $191.2 billion, from $187.1 billion the previous month. Exports had dropped in May from April.

Exports increased in most categories, with two of the largest categories -- fuel oil and petroleum -- showing significant jumps. An exception was automotive vehicles, parts and engines, which dropped for the first time since March.

Imports dropped 2.5% to $225.4 billion, their lowest level since March. Fuel oil and petroleum imports were down sharply.

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