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US Trade Deficit Widens Further

US Trade Deficit Widens Further  US Trade Deficit Widens Further

The US trade deficit widened more than expected in December, hitting its highest level since 2008 as robust domestic demand pushed imports to a record high, Reuters reported. The commerce department said on Tuesday the trade gap increased 5.3% to $53.1 billion. That was the highest level since October 2008 and followed a slightly upwardly revised $50.4 billion shortfall in November. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade deficit rising to $52 billion in December after a previously reported $50.5 billion in the prior month. Part of the rise in the trade gap in December reflected commodity price increases. The deficit surged 12.1% to $566 billion in 2017, the highest since 2008. The politically sensitive US-China trade deficit increased 8.1% to a record $375.2 billion last year. President Donald Trump has vowed to shrink the trade gap through his “America First” trade policies, which aim to shut out more unfairly traded imports and renegotiate past US free trade agreements.

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