US trade deficit hits record $37.6B

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    Trade Deficit Hits Record $37.6B
    Fri Jul 19, 8:34 AM ET
    By JEANNINE AVERSA, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States trade deficit ballooned to a record $37.6 billion in May, reflecting Americans' ravenous appetite for foreign-made cars, TVs and clothes.

    The Commerce Department ( news - web sites) reported Friday that the deficit was 4.1 percent higher than the revised $36.1 billion trade gap reported for April.

    Many analysts were predicting a slight narrowing of the trade imbalance in May.

    Imports grew more than twice as fast as exports. Imports of goods and services increased 1.8 percent to $118.3 billion in May as the U.S. economic recovery helped to boost consumer demand for foreign-made goods.

    Imports of automobiles and parts, and of consumer goods — a broad category of items including TVs, VCRs, apparel, furniture and houshold appliances_ climbed to new monthly records.

    Exports rose 0.7 percent to $80.6 billion in May. Although countries around the globe are regaining their strength after a worldwide slump, they are doing so more slowly than the United States, thus restraining demand for U.S. products.

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