U.S. Trade Gap Hits Highest Levels For 2013

Our nation’s trade deficit hit its highest level so far in 2013 as a slowing global economy put downward pressure on U.S. exports while imports of autos and non-petroleum products hit all-time highs. Imbalance with China continues to grow. Ugh.

The gap between imports and exports widened to $45 billion last May, a 12.1% hike over April’s $40.1 billion, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, according to a recent Associated Press report.

The U.S. trade imbalance with China leaped to nearly $28 billion, up 16 percent from April and close to the all-time monthly high posted last November. Some of it is likely attributable to China’s penchant for currency manipulation, an issue that is likely to come up when U.S. and Chinese governmental officials hold high-level talks next week in Washington, D.C.

The good news? The deficit is growing at a 6.3% lower rate than in 2012 -- when it was nearly $535 billion. We, however, still have seven more months to go.