The rise in prices for importing oil has fuelled the US trade deficit
The rise in prices for importing oil has fuelled the US trade deficit, BBC World News reported.
The deficit rose 1.8% to $59bn in August - its third highest monthly sum - as the US spent a record $17.2bn on buying crude oil supplies.
The deficit is expected to rise more substantially in September as Hurricane Katrina's economic impact is reflected in trade data for the first time.
US oil production hit a 50-year low in September as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit output in the Gulf of Mexico.
Average oil output totalled 4.197 million barrels last month, its lowest level since 1943.
Labor Department figures also published on Thursday showed that a further 75,000 people lost their jobs last week as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Those claiming jobless benefits for the first time due to the hurricanes has now risen to 438,000.
Experts said Katrina - which struck New Orleans on August 29 - had had no discernible impact on August's trade figures.