The U.S. trade deficit continued to grow in January as the import-export gap widened to a record high, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The trade deficit reached $89.7 billion in January, up $7.7 billion from December 2021’s $82 billion figure, the Census Bureau announced Tuesday. Economists surveyed by the WSJ predicted a January trade deficit figure of just $87.2 billion.
The trade deficit was fueled by surging foreign imports, especially higher vehicle and energy shipments, according to the Census Bureau. Tuesday’s report highlights a pickup in demand for foreign-made imports while demand for goods manufactured in the U.S. declined.
Imports grew 1.2% month-over-month in January, fueled by shipments in foreign-made vehicles, energy, food and telecommunication equipment, according to the Census Bureau. Meanwhile, exports reportedly dipped 1.7%, because of a decrease in exported pharmaceuticals goods and services like travel and transport.
Foreign trade is expected to encounter more disruptions as the conflict in Ukraine intensifies and Russia faces intensifying sanctions, the WSJ reported.
The U.S. imported roughly $29.7 billion of Russian goods in 2021, the WSJ reported, with oil accounting for roughly 60% of the imports.
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