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U.S. Trade Deficit Is Wider Than Any Month or Year Since 2008

  • Gap increased 12% in 2017 as China imbalance hit record high
  • Deficit may widen further as tax cuts set to boost imports
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Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

The U.S. trade deficit widened to the biggest monthly and annual levels since the last recession, underscoring the inherent friction in President Donald Trump’s goal of narrowing the gap while enjoying faster economic growth.

The deficit increased 5.3 percent in December to a larger-than- expected $53.1 billion, the widest since October 2008, as imports outpaced exports, Commerce Department data showed Tuesday. For all of 2017, the goods-and-services gap grew 12 percent to $566 billion, the biggest since 2008.