Imports dropped in June by the most in a year as the U.S. economy moved closer to energy independence, helping the trade deficit unexpectedly narrow.
The gap shrank 7 percent to $41.5 billion, the smallest since January, from May’s $44.7 billion, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The drop in purchases of foreign goods from the highest levels on record included declines in autos, cellular phones and the lowest petroleum imports in more than three years.
Demand for goods made overseas will probably rebound in coming months, helped by growing consumer spending and business investment. Exports, although the strongest on record, were little changed from the prior month, a sign markets overseas will represent less growth for American factories as Europe’s economy struggles to pick up and geopolitical tensions mount.