1 min read.Updated: 07 Apr 2021, 06:22 PM ISTBloomberg
The gap in trade of both goods and services increased to $71.1 billion in February from a revised $67.8 billion a month earlier, according to Commerce Department data
The U.S. trade deficit widened in February to a record high as solid household and business demand kept imports running ahead of shipments to overseas customers.
The gap in trade of both goods and services increased to $71.1 billion in February from a revised $67.8 billion a month earlier, according to Commerce Department data released Wednesday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a $70.5 billion shortfall.
A decline in exports exceeded a drop in the value of imports during the month as severe winter weather disrupted two-way trade.
The U.S. deficit has been widening fairly consistently on a monthly basis since reaching a more than three-year low in February 2020. Merchandise imports have been pouring into the nation’s ports, leading to shipping container shortages that have driven up freight rates and left domestic producers scrambling at a time when inventories are lean.
Global supply chains were put to the test in late March after a massive container ship blocked the Suez Canal for days, forcing carriers and other vessels to weigh costly and time-consuming voyages around Africa.
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