US goods trade deficit hits record in November

US goods trade deficit hits record in November

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The US trade deficit in goods mushroomed to a record in November as imports surged and exports slipped.

The US Department of Commerce said on Wednesday that last month’s merchandise trade deficit widened by 17.5% to US$97.8 billion from US$83.2 billion in October. This exceeds the record deficit of 97 billion U.S. dollars set in September.

Goods exports declined 2.1%, while imports rose by 4.7%. The report also showed wholesale inventories climbed 1.2% last month. Retail inventories increased 2.0%.

Retail inventories, excluding autos, which go into the calculation of gross domestic product, edged up by 1.3%

The economy grew at a 2.3% annualised rate in the third quarter, a step-down from earlier in the year but activity has rebounded in the fourth quarter.

Trade has been a drag on gross domestic product growth for five straight quarters, while inventories added to output in the third quarter.

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