The nation's trade deficit ballooned again in June, according to new data, which only raises the chances of another interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve and ultimately a slowdown in economic growth, economists said.

The deficit soared to a record $24.6 billion in June, from $21.2 billion in May. Imports hit a new high of $103 billion, compared with $99.1 billion the previous month, and exports edged up to $78.4 billion, from $78 billion in May.

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