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The Record-High Trade Deficit
Mar 7, 2019 at 04:06 PM
Photo by hectorgalarza

The Quick Facts

  • Yesterday, the Commerce Department released figures showing that America’s trade deficit in goods with the rest of the world rose to its highest level in history last year.
  • In 2018 the U.S. imported a record number of products, including from China, and widened the deficit to $891.3 billion.
  • Additionally, in the month of December, the deficit rose 19 percent from the previous month, marking the highest monthly trade deficit since 2008.
  • A trade deficit is the difference between how much a country sells to its trading partners and how much it buys, and it generally includes both goods and services.
  • The large trade deficit is likely due to a number of factors, including a global economic slowdown, the strength of the U.S. dollar, the recent tax cut, and the trade war escalated by President Trump last year.

Food For Thought

How big a deal is the rising trade deficit? Is it a good or bad sign for the economy?  

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