Driven largely by a notable increase in imports of foreign oil products, the U.S. trade gap grew to $44.4 billion in January, the Commerce Department announced Thursday. The troubling, near 17% surge from December in the trade gap was about $2 billion more than forecast.
Oil pricing didn’t change that much, perhaps keeping the trade gap from worsening by more than it did, though the rise was already the largest increase in 10 months. Overall, exporting activity also fell, by about $1.2% despite small gains in categories like automotive and food products.
Despite that, expectations are still high for sign cant export growth in 2013. Still, the more than $27 billion deficit to China in just the first month of the year is troubling coming off the record nation-to-nation deficit posted in 2012.
-Brian Shappell, CBA, NACM staff writer