WASHINGTON — The U.S. trade deficit rose to $53.1 billion in June, up 4.4% from the revised $50.8 billion in May, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. It was the biggest deficit since the $59.5 billion shortfall posted in October 2008.
Imports fell 0.8% to $223.9 billion. Exports fell 2.3% to $170.9 billion, their largest drop since a 5.1% decline in January 2009.
The biggest import decline was in crude oil and petroleum products. The average price of a barrel of oil fell 2.5% to $106, spurring a nearly $2 billion drop in the oil, crude, chemicals, and related products category.
Imports of capital goods excluding autos fell $131 million. Computers and industrial machines had the largest drops.
Auto imports fell $176 million. Consumer goods imports were off $107 million.
Exports of industrial supplies and materials were down $2.0 billion, with fuel oil and plastic dropping the most. Capital goods exports fell $1.5 billion, with industrial equipment showing the largest drop. Civilian aircraft added $330 million to June exports.
The United States had a $26.7 billion trade deficit with China, the highest since September 2010.