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Tuesday, June 28, 2022
HomeNewsEconomyU.S. Trade Deficit Widens in December, Expected to Weigh on 1Q GDP

U.S. Trade Deficit Widens in December, Expected to Weigh on 1Q GDP

US-Trade-Deficit-Reuters
US-Trade-Deficit-Reuters

Stacked shipping containers in U.S. trade port. (Photo: Reuters)

The Commerce Department reported on Friday that the U.S. trade deficit in December widened to $43.36 billion dollars, missing media forecasts. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade deficit to widen to $43 billion. November’s deficit was revised lower to $42.23 billion.

The U.S. trade deficit slashed nearly half a percentage point from gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter, helping to hold down growth to an abysmal 0.7 percent annual rate. It is largely expected to remain a drag in the first quarter. But GDP was also hindered by reduced spending and increased savings by American households.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, was weighed down on households cutting back on purchases of automobiles and spending on utilities. Further, a jump in savings to a three-year high suggested there is enough muscle to boost consumption in the months ahead.

The dollar increased 9.2% against the currencies of the United States’ main trading partners last year, which reduces demand for U.S.-made goods overseas. Lackluster global demand also has put a damper on exports.

Written by
Staff Writing Group

PPD Business, the economy-reporting arm of People's Pundit Daily, is "making sense of current events." We are a no-holds barred, news reporting pundit of, by, and for the people.

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