Pandemic-era supply shortages are aggravating the U.S. trade deficit. According to the latest report on international trade from the Census Bureau, the gap between goods the U.S. exports and the goods and services it imports from abroad rose more than 5% in June, driven by a substantial increase in imports of industrial supplies and materials.
In June 2021, the Bureau says, the U.S. imported $283.4 billion worth of goods and services, compared to only $207.7 billion in goods and services exported. That nets a trade deficit of $75.7 billion—6.7% larger than it was in May, and 46.6% bigger than it was in June 2020. The three-month moving average deficit rose slightly, by $200 million to $71.9 billion.
The newly growing trade gap, which narrowed slightly in May, was driven largely by a substantial increase in imports of industrial supplies and materials. U.S. goods exports rose slightly to $145.9 billion, but at the same time, goods imports rose by $4.3 billion, $4.2 billion of which came from imported supplies like metals and chemicals. Imports of nonmonetary gold rose by $1.2 billion, finished metal shapes by $500 million, iron and steel mill products $400 million, and organic chemicals $400 million.
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