) -- A jump in demand for foreign-made pharmaceuticals, cars, and telecom supplies, coupled with a drop in U.S. exports for items like semiconductors and computers, helped widen the country's trade deficit to its steepest gap in nearly two years, according to a government report released Wednesday morning.
The trade deficit swelled to a seasonally adjusted $49.9 billion in June, the Commerce Department said. The tally was both higher than $42 billion shortfall posted in May, and the $42.2 billion projected by Wall Street analysts, according to consensus projections provided by Briefing.com.
Exports fell by $2 billion in June from the month before to $150.5 billion, while imports rose by $5.9 billion to hit $200.3 billion.
The U.S.'s trade deficit with China also widened further to a non-seasonally adjusted $26.2 billion from $22.3 billion in May, continuing to make it the country's largest shortfall among the U.S.'s trading partners.
The major stock market averages began the session lower, coming under pressure from
disappointing headlines in England and
China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was losing 178 points, or 1.7%, at 10,466 soon after the opening bell.
--Written by Sung Moss in New York