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U.S. Trade Gap Widens for Sixth Month Ahead of Trump Tariffs

  • Deficit of $57.6 billion is biggest since October 2008
  • Olympic Games fees may have given imports a temporary boost
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Amherst's Stanley Says U.S. Trade Deficit a 'Drag' on GDP

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The U.S. trade deficit widened by more than forecast to a fresh nine-year high in February amid broad-based demand for imports, ahead of Trump administration tariffs that have raised the specter of a trade war.

The gap increased 1.6 percent in February to $57.6 billion, compared with the median estimate of economists for $56.8 billion, Commerce Department data showed Thursday. It was the sixth straight month with a wider deficit, the longest streak since 2000. Imports and exports both registered gains of 1.7 percent, with the data showing a $1 billion jump in charges for imported intellectual property that probably reflect a temporary boost from rights fees to broadcast the Olympic Games.