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Jul 13, 2010 9:07 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

US trade deficit balloons in May

The U.S. trade deficit widened in May to the highest level in 18 months as a rebounding economy pushed up demand for imports of foreign-made cars, computers and clothing.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit increased 4.8 percent to $42.3 billion, the largest imbalance since November 2008.

American exports of goods and services rose 2.4 percent but this increase was outpaced by a 2.9 percent rise in imports. American manufacturing has been a standout performer so far in this recovery, benefiting from a global economic recovery.

But the concern is that export sales will be hurt by the European debt crisis, which has dampened growth prospects in Europe.

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