The US trade deficit widened sharply to $80.2 billion in November 2021 as imports surged, the Commerce Department reported.
In a statement on Thursday, the Department said that US exports rose by 0.2 per cent to $224.2 billion in November, while imports increased by 4.6 per cent to $304.4 billion, reports Xinhua news agency.
The goods and services deficit rose by 19.4 per cent from a revised $67.2 billion in the previous month, according to the Department.
“Strong imports continue to reflect the more robust recovery in the US, but are also a sign of incremental improvement in easing supply chain constraints,” Tim Quinlan and Shannon Seery, economists at Wells Fargo Securities, said on Thursday in an analysis, noting that imports of semiconductors rose by the most in eight months.
“The trade data have been particularly volatile in recent months, and November’s data suggest net exports will now be a drag on growth for the sixth consecutive quarter” in the fourth quarter of 2021, the economists said.
The US economy grew at an annual rate of 2.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2021, lower than a pace of 6.7 per cent in the previous quarter, due to the Delta variant-fuelled Covid-19 surge and the decline in government support.
The Omicron variant has the potential to drag on US economic growth in 2022, as the Delta variant did in 2021, according to analysts.
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