NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widened in February as exports fell and imports slightly rose, according to the latest report by the Commerce Department.
The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widened in February amid a slump in exports, according to the latest report by the Commerce Department.
The trade gap increased 7.7% to $42.3 billion, the largest since September 2013. Economists had predicted a fall to $38.5 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. The rise in the deficit is being attributed to weak exports, which slipped 1.1% to $190.4 billion in February. That marks the lowest level of exports in five months. Exports were weighed down by declining sales of refined petroleum products, commercial jets and industrial supplies.
As U.S. exports fell, U.S. imports rose 0.4% to about $232.7 billion, contributing to the widening of the trade gap. Imports of autos and clothing helped offset a drop in crude-oil imports in the month, which fell to the lowest level since October 2010.
In New York, I'm Brittany Umar for TheStreet.
Written by Brittany Umar in New York.