Jan. 6 (UPI) — The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday the U.S. trade deficit jumped from $67.2 billion in October to $80.2 billion in November.
Exported goods and services increased just 0.2% to a total of $224.5 billion, the Commerce Department’s BEA said.
That brings the U.S. trade deficit for 2021 to a total of $304.4 billion as of November.
The bureau said COVID-19 is still impacting international trade and the deficit. But it says the full economic effects of the pandemic “cannot be quantified in the statistics because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified.”
The increase in imported goods included $5.9 billion in industrial supplies, $3 billion in consumer goods and $1.2 billion in auto and vehicle parts and engines.
The trade deficit forecast is for continued higher levels, Oxford Economics’ Nancy Vanden Houten told Marketwatch.
“Looking ahead, we expect the trade deficit to remain historically elevated until pandemic worries ease,” she said, “Rising COVID cases abroad once again threaten to constrain global demand, risking an even wider deficit if export growth slows more than imports.”