US Trade Deficit at New Record from Higher Vehicle, Energy Imports

The U.S. trade deficit hit a new record in January as imports of vehicles and energy supplies surged while export growth slowed down.

The gap in foreign trade widened to a record-large $89.7 billion deficit in January, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

January exports were $224.4 billion, 1.7 percent less than December exports. Imports were higher at $314.1 billion, 1.2 percent more than the previous month’s record.

“Consumer goods exports were the main driver of weakness with a $3.2 million decline in pharmaceutical preparation products specifically more than driving the overall decline,” said the Commerce Department.

Shipments of foreign-made vehicles, energy supplies including crude oil and natural gas, food and capital equipment mainly drove the increase in imports.

Analysts expect the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and economic sanctions imposed on Russia to further disrupt trade as supply shortages worsen and prices of goods soar.

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