Trade deficit hits new record

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The U.S. trade deficit for goods and services hit a new record in January, swelling to $89.7 billion, according to data released by the Census Bureau on Tuesday.

January’s trade deficit for goods and services saw a $7.7 billion increase from December, which recorded an $82 billion deficit, according to revised numbers. The change marked a 9.4 percent increase.

Exports decreased by $3.9 billion in January from the month prior, shrinking to $224.4 billion — a 1.7 percent decrease. Imports, however, increased by $3.8 billion over the previous month, growing to $314.1 billion — a 1.2 percent increase.

Foreign-made vehicles, industrial equipment, food and capital goods, including telecommunications supplies, in part made up the increase in exports to the U.S. in January, according to The Wall Street Journal.

On the exports side, the U.S. reportedly observed fewer orders of COVID-19 vaccines leaving the country.

A growth in demand for foreign-made imports helped drive the increased January deficit, according to the Journal. The heightened demand for foreign-made imports came as businesses replenished their inventory.

Demand for exports from the U.S., however, decreased. January was marked by businesses struggling amid a spike in COVID-19 cases that led to absences, according to the Journal. Additionally, energy prices increased, which impacted distribution, and the supply chain is still experiencing difficulties.

Tags COVID-19 Exports Imports Pandemic trade deficit
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