WASHINGTON — The U.S. trade deficit rose in July to $32.0 billion, higher than economists estimated, as trading increased with many of the largest U.S. partners to the highest levels of the year, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.

The trade deficit increased 16.3% in July, the largest monthly increase since February 1999, following an upwardly revised deficit of $27.5 billion in June.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected the deficit to rise to $27.5 billion in July.

Growth in trading revealed that the global recession might be ending. Imports increased 4.7% to $159.6 billion from June to July, the largest increase by percentage on record.

Exports increased by 2.2% from June to $127.6 billion, the largest increase since June 2008.

Automotive trading contributed to the rise in imports and exports. The U.S. exported $1.3 billion of autos and parts and imported $2.4 billion.

The trade deficits with the European Union, South and Central America, and with OPEC countries increased to the highest dollar amount since October 2008.

Imports from China, the largest U.S. trading partner, rose to the highest level since November 2008.

Crude oil imports rose by $1.2 billion from June. Oil imports for the year through July are $120.4 billion less than the 2008 period.

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