US Trade Deficit in December was the largest in Nine Years

US Trade Deficit Jumped by 12.1% in 2017

US Trade Deficit Jumped by 12.1% in 2017

For all of 2017, the goods-and-services gap grew 12 per cent to US$566 billion, the biggest since 2008.

For December, the trade gap increased to 53.1 billion, up from $50.4 billion in November, which was the highest level since October 2008. Solid consumer spending and business investment - assuming they hold up amid the recent stock-market rout - will fuel demand for foreign-made merchandise.

U.S. trade deficit widened by 12.1% to 566 billion dollars in 2017, said Tuesday the Department of Commerce, noting that this is the largest increase since 2009-2010.

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One of the central themes of Trump's presidential campaign was a pledge to level the playing field for American workers.

Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the US increased to $6.6 billion in December compared with $6.0 billion in November.

For goods only, the deficit also reached a year ago a record level with China to 375.2 billion, which could comfort the USA president in his idea to continue its commercial reprisals against Beijing.

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Within the former, imports of goods jumped by $6.0bn to reach $210.8bn, led by increases of $1.8bn in purchases of pharmaceutical preparations from overseas, of $1.7bn in those of cell phones and other household goods, of $1.1bn in passenger cars and of $0.8bn in capital goods.

Recently, Trump levied steep tariffs on imported solar panel technology and washing machines, which immediately boosted prices for USA consumers.

Trump has said he plans to take a more forceful stance to bring down America's trade deficit. Tax reform, which is strengthening the economy already, may push the trade deficit even higher.

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"We're looking for a bit more from exports in the year ahead, so hopefully December wasn't a sign of things to come", CIBC economist Nick Exarhos wrote in a note to clients. Exports and imports of goods account for about three-fourths of America's total trade; the U.S. typically runs a deficit in merchandise trade and a surplus in services.

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