The trade deficit widened 9.3% to $63.1 billion in November, despite a healthy growth in exports. With the dollar down, and demand for US goods rising in Asia and Latin America, exports moved at a healthy clip. But spending on imported oil overshadowed everything else, Bloomberg reports. “It comes down to three things: oil, oil, and oil,” said one economist.
Record oil prices accounted for two-thirds of the 3% import climb. Because oil prices went even higher in December, the gap will likely remain elevated into 2008. But exports grew for the ninth consecutive month, a record, representing the lone bright spot in the current economy. The US trade gap with China, meanwhile, shrank.