US trade deficit hits record high in January due to fall in exports – 03/08/2022

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WASHINGTON, March 8, 2022 (AFP) — A surge in oil and auto imports in January pushed the US trade deficit to a new record, coupled with a sharp drop in exports, according to official data released Tuesday.

The trade gap in the world’s largest economy rose 9.4% since December to a monthly record of $89.7 billion, according to State Department data.

Exports fell 1.7% to $224.4 billion in December, while imports rose to $314.1 billion.

“Overall, trade flows are at record levels,” said Rubila Farooqui of High Frequency Economics, noting that the deficit will remain high due to “strong demand for imports”.

While exports of services such as travel declined, the trade deficit of goods also registered a record decline.

Imports of cars, parts and engines increased by $1.6 billion, while purchases of crude oil and natural gas increased by $1.5 billion.

However, purchases of semiconductors needed to make cars and phones outside the United States were $600 million less than in December.

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