WASHINGTON (AP) _ America's trade deficit soared once again in May to a record $15.75 billion as the deepening economic troubles in Asia helped push U.S. exports down to the lowest level in 15 months.

The Commerce Department reported today that the trade deficit for May was 10.3 percent higher than the April imbalance of $14.27 billion, underscoring that the fallout from Asia's currency crisis will be more severe for American manufacturers and farmers than first forecast.

Economists believe that the U.S. economy slowed dramatically in the just completed April-June quarter with the most pessimistic saying that output may have actually contracted, something that has not happened since the 1990-91 recession.