U.S. trade deficit widened in November by 15.8 percent
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. trade deficit surprisingly widened in November amid increased demand for foreign-made goods by American retailers during the holidays and a bump in sales of imported automobiles following Superstorm Sandy.
In a report released by the Commerce Department released on Friday, the U.S. deficit in international trade of goods and services rose 15.8 per cent to $48.73bn compared to October’s revised figure of $42.06bn from the original reading of $42.24bn. Excluding petroleum purchases, the deficit reached its highest level in more than five years.
Low fuel prices kept the cost of imports from rising further in November and, along with improving labor market conditions, household purchasing power has risen. A survey of economists by the Dow Jones Newswires show the gap narrowing to $41.2bn.
Meanwhile, a survey by Bloomberg of 69 economists show that the deficit would fall to $41.3bn with gap estimates ranging between $39.8bn to $45bn.
U.S. imports rose by 3.8 per cent to $231.28bn with increases across the board especially in consumers goods which posted the biggest gain. In November, spending on cellphones and other related goods grew more than 27 per cent, while purchases of pharmaceutical products rose by about 20 per cent compared to the previous month.
The report also showed that exports rose by 1 per cent in November to $182.6bn, led by shipment of automobiles and parts and telecommunications equipment.