The U.S. trade deficit increased to a more than nine-year high in January, with the shortfall with China widening sharply, suggesting that President Donald Trump's “America First” trade policies are unlikely to have a material impact on the deficit.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday the trade gap jumped 5.0 percent to $56.6 billion. That was the highest level since October 2008 and followed a slightly upwardly revised $53.9 billion shortfall in December.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade gap widening to $55.1 billion in January from a previously reported $53.1 billion in the prior month. Part of the rise in the trade deficit in January reflected commodity price increases. Click here to read more.