The US trade deficit increased for the second consecutive month in November 2016. The imports rose to their highest level in more than an year due to higher oil prices, suggesting that trade can be a significant impediment to economic growth in the fourth quarter.
According to preliminary calculations, the US trade deficit totaled 45.24 billion USD, having expanded by 6.8% compared to the previous month. However, economists expected larger deficit of 45.6 billion USD. During the month, exports decreased by 0.2% to 185.83 billion USD, while imports increased by 1.1% to 231.070 billion USD, which is the highest level since November 2015.
The trade contributed by 0.85 percentage points to the revised increase in gross domestic product for the third quarter of 3.5%. The economists now predict that trade could cost more than 1 percentage point of GDP growth in the fourth quarter.
The data of the Ministry of Commerce show that the deficit in October was revised to 42.36 billion USD, while preliminary data were minus 42.6 billion USD.
The financial and currency markets follow with attention deficit in US trade and current account. To finance the US deficits need large capital flows from abroad.