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US trade deficit widens in May as exports struggle

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The U.S. trade deficit widened slightly in May, reflecting declines in sales of American-made aircraft and machinery as exports continued to suffer from a strong dollar.

The deficit increased 2.9 percent to $41.9 billion in May, up from an April imbalance of $40.7 billion, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Imports fell 0.1 percent to $230.5 billion. Exports slid at a faster pace of 0.8 percent to $188.6 billion. American producers have been hurt this year by a rising value of the dollar, which makes U.S. goods less competitive in overseas markets.