US trade deficit jumps to $68.1 billion in November


FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2019, file photo, cargo cranes are used to take containers off of a Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation boat at the Port of Tacoma in Tacoma, Wash. The U.S. trade deficit rose in August to the highest level in 14 years. The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the gap between the goods and services the United States sells and what it buys abroad climbed 5.9% in August to $67.1 billion.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit jumped to $68.1 billion in November, the highest monthly deficit in 14 years, as a surge in imports overwhelmed a smaller increase in exports.

The November gap between what America buys from abroad compared to what it sells abroad rose by 8% from the October deficit of $63.1 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

The increase reflected a 2.9% increase in imports of goods and services to $252.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis. That jump swamped a 1.2% rise in exports which totaled $184.2 billion in November.

Through the first 11 months of 2020, the deficit stands at $604.8 billion, 13.9% higher than the same period in 2019. President Donald Trump has insisted that his get-tough trade policies with the rest of the world would shrink the deficit and bring back American jobs.

The politically sensitive deficit with China rose 1.9% to $30.7 billion in November and totaled $283.6 billion for the first 11 months of 2020. That was a drop of 11.5% from the same period in 2019, reflecting in part the higher tariffs the Trump administration imposed on Chinese goods as the world’s two largest economies engaged in a tit-for—tat trade war.

The monthly deficit in goods and services of $68.1 billion was the largest imbalance since August 2006. The deficit in just goods totaled a record $86.4 billion in November.

Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said that the rising trade deficit would act as a drag on economic growth in the fourth quarter. He predicted the economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, would expand at an annual rate of 3% in the October-December period.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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