The US trade deficit widened to $54.6 billion in May of 2020 from an upwardly revised $49.8 billion in April and higher than forecasts of $53 billion. It is the biggest trade gap since December of 2018 as both exports and imports fell in part due to the impact of COVID-19, as many businesses were operating at limited capacity or ceased operations completely, and the movement of travelers across borders was restricted.
Exports dropped 4.4% to $144.5 billion, the lowest level since November of 2009, led by crude, fuel oil; semiconductors and computer accessories; financial and other business services; and charges for the use of the intellectual property. Imports shrank 0.9% to $199.1 billion, the lowest since July of 2010, led by a slump in purchases of automotive vehicles, parts, and engines and capital goods such as computers. The deficit with China widened $1.9 billion to $27.9 billion as exports went up to $10.0 billion and imports increased $2.7 billion to $37.9 billion.