U.S. companies sold lots of stuff to foreign buyers in May — the most in any month since the financial crisis hit in the fall of 2008. (And by stuff, I mean goods and services.)
But U.S. consumers also bought lots of stuff from foreign companies in May — also the most in any month since the fall of 2008.
Overall, imports rose even faster than exports in May. So the U.S. trade deficit rose, according to government figures released this morning.
The trade deficit was over $42 billion for the month. More than half of that amount — $22 billion — came from our trade deficit with China.
That will add to the U.S. push for China to let its currency appreciate.
A more valuable Chinese currency would make China's goods and services more expensive in the U.S., and U.S. goods in services cheaper in China. That, in turn, would tend to drive down the trade deficit between the two countries.