Oil Sends Trade Deficit to 14-Month High

Soaring crude prices overshadow strong growth in US exports
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2008 11:15 AM CST
Graphic shows the quarterly current account trade deficit as of Dec. 17.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – 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.