US Trade Deficit Hits Record High of $89.7Bln, Rising 9.4% in January

© WikipediaMain entrance US Commerce Department Building
Main entrance US Commerce Department Building - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.03.2022
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US trade deficit rose 9.4 percent month-on-month to reach a record high of $89.7 billion in January, the Commerce Department said Tuesday as businesses raised imports to feed demand for goods in an economy struggling with pandemic-related supply-chain disruptions and soaring prices.
"The goods and services deficit was $89.7 billion in January, up $7.7 billion from $82.0 billion in December, revised," the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a unit within the Commerce Department, said in a news release.
Historical data from the department showed that to be a new high for the US trade deficit since December’s peak of $81.9 billion.
The data also showed that the United States bought more foreign oil, natural gas, and automobiles and other goods to feed demand in an economy still hampered by delivery and other logistical problems two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.
FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2015 file photo, traders Gordon Charlop, left, Nathan Wisniewski, center, and Gregory Rowe, work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks were mostly flat in early trading Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, helped by a stabilization in oil prices, which helped lift energy stocks - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.02.2022
Price of April Futures for Brent Oil Exceeds $99 Per Barrel First Time Since September 2014
High prices of imports due to soaring inflation also boosted the trade deficit. Oil prices alone, as per global crude benchmark Brent, rose 17% in January. They have continued rising since, climbing 11% in February and 28% so far for March due to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Exports of US-manufactured goods fell 1.7% to $224.4 billion in January, the smallest amount in four months. Data showed the decline mostly to be in shipments of US pharmaceutical products.
The United States has typically run large trade deficits for years, with the trend heightened since 2020 by the COVID-19 outbreak. The US economy is still outpacing the rest of the world in recovery from the pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine conflict could widen the disparity.
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