The U.S. trade deficit continued to grow in January as the import-export gap widened to a record high, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The trade deficit reached $89.7 billion in January, up $7.7 billion from December 2021’s $82 billion figure, the Census Bureau announced Tuesday. Economists surveyed by the WSJ predicted a January trade deficit figure of just $87.2 billion.
The trade deficit was fueled by surging foreign imports, especially higher vehicle and energy shipments, according to the Census Bureau. Tuesday’s report highlights a pickup in demand for foreign-made imports while demand for goods manufactured in the U.S. declined.
Imports grew 1.2% month-over-month in January, fueled by shipments in foreign-made vehicles, energy, food, and telecommunication equipment, according to the Census Bureau. Meanwhile, exports reportedly dipped 1.7%, because of a decrease in exported pharmaceuticals goods and services like travel and transport.
The U.S. imported roughly $29.7 billion of Russian goods in 2021, the WSJ reported, with oil accounting for roughly 60% of the imports.