Trade gap hits highest level in 18 months

Imports from Europe rose 3.2 percent, as the deficit with the European Union increased 7.5 percent to $6.2 billion, while U.S. exports received only a 1.9 percent boost in the region.

The trade deficit is running at an annual rate of $474.8 billion through May, up 26.6 percent from a $374.9 billion deficit for 2009. 

The deficit with China increased to $22.3 billion in May, a 15.4 percent increase from the April deficit, to the highest level since October. 

The trade imbalance with China has jumped 10.2 percent from the same period last year.