US trade deficit widened by 12.1% to 566 billion dollars in 2017, said Tuesday the Department of Commerce, noting that this is the largest increase since 2009-2010.
If we put aside services, the trade balance with the rest of the world reached a deficit of 796.1 billion (+ 8.1%). We have to go back to 2008 to have a bigger deficit.
These data are released as the Trump administration has made the reduction of the trade deficit one of its priorities.
For goods only, the deficit also reached last year a record level with China to 375.2 billion, which could comfort the US president in his idea to continue its commercial reprisals against Beijing.
The United States also recorded a record level of goods imports from 47 countries, including China (505.6 billion), Mexico (314 billion) and Italy (50 billion).
In 2017, imports of beverages and food (137.8 billion), capital goods (640.6 billion), accessories and car parts (359 billion) and consumer goods (602 ,2 billion) have all reached record levels, notes the Commerce Department.
At the same time, the United States recorded a record level of exports to 29 countries, including Mexico (243 billion), China (130.4 billion) and the United Kingdom (56.3 billion).
For the month of December alone, the trade deficit in goods and services rose 5.35% to 53.1 billion, a rise above analysts’ expectations of 52.3 billion.