By David Harrison

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed for the second straight month in May, as a decrease in goods spending by American households held down import growth while exports of energy products increased.

The trade gap in goods and services shrank 1.3% in May from the previous month to $85.5 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday, down from April's revised $86.7 billion.

Imports rose 0.6% to $341.4 billion, driven by a rise in crude oil imports. Exports rose 1.2% to $255.9 billion due to increased exports of crude oil and natural gas.

Imports of consumer goods fell $1.5 billion as a result of Americans' cooling appetite for goods purchases.

After splurging on furniture, electronics and appliances during the pandemic-induced lockdowns, many households are now shifting their spending to services such as restaurants or travel. Higher consumer prices also are making goods less attractive to consumers.

At the same time, supply-chain disruptions caused businesses to stockpile orders, which has left them with full inventories and no room to store new products.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 07, 2022 09:10 ET (13:10 GMT)

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