WASHINGTON - The US trade gap widened sharply in May to its highest level in 31 months as surging oil prices helped push imports to a near record and exports fell slightly from April's record high.
The trade deficit totaled $50.2 billion, the highest since October 2008, and well above the consensus estimate of $44.0 billion from Wall Street analysts surveyed before the report, a Commerce Department report showed on Tuesday.
Imports rose 2.6 percent to $225.1 billion, the highest since the record of $231.6 billion set in July 2008 just before the global financial crisis took a huge toll on global trade.
US stock index futures dipped slightly on the news, while the dollar pared gains against the euro. Bond prices were mostly unchanged.