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US Trade Deficit Widens to Nine-Month High

US Trade Deficit Widens to Nine-Month HighUS Trade Deficit Widens to Nine-Month High

The US trade deficit widened to a nine-month high in November as exports fell and companies and governments imported the most since August 2015. The gap grew by 6.8% to $45.2 billion from a revised $42.4 billion in the prior month, Commerce Department figures showed. The November shortfall was in line with the Bloomberg survey median for a $45.4 billion gap, Bloomberg reported.

Weaker overseas sales of US-made goods and stronger domestic demand for imported merchandise indicate trade weighed on economic growth in last year’s fourth quarter. America’s net export position has also been made even more tenuous given the dollar’s rally in late 2016.

Exports decreased 0.2% to $185.8 billion in November on slower shipments of foods, capital goods and motor vehicles, the Commerce Department data showed. Exports of capital equipment were the weakest since September 2011 and reflected a sharp drop in shipments of commercial aircraft.

Imports increased 1.1% to $231.1 billion on more purchases of foreign-produced crude oil and foods. Inflation-adjusted imports of petroleum were the highest since November 2012.

After eliminating the influence of prices, which renders the numbers used to calculate gross domestic product, the trade deficit widened to a five-month high of $63.6 billion from $60.3 billion in the prior month.

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