As November’s trade deficit widened further, many wondered what a high number of imports would mean for local businesses.
According to Commerce Department data released Thursday, the gap in trade in goods and services reached $ 80.2 billion from a revised $ 67.2 billion in October, as the goods trade deficit hit a record high. of $ 99.0 billion.
Imports increased by $ 12.3 billion to a record high of $ 254.9 billion. Exports all the same increased, but at 49.5 billion dollars against 48.3 billion dollars, it is much less spectacular.
“Ports continue to work on the backlog of ships awaiting unloading, which could mean that the seasonal surge in imports that typically peaks in October and November spills over into December and January,” said Bill Adams, senior economist at PNC, to TheStreet in a statement. “And the omicron wave is weighing on international travel, which will reduce US service exports in the near term.”
But while the merchandise trade deficit also hit an all-time high in November, the numbers we are seeing now could signal a rebound to come. The deficit is lower than the peak reached in September due in large part to the increase in services and the rebound in the tourism industry.
According to Adams, consumer spending is expected to shift more towards services throughout 2022 and, with it, boost business. The acceleration of domestic auto production as “automakers overcome chip shortage” should also help narrow the current gap.
Even so, the trade deficit is likely to be stable to positive for real GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2021, and then tailwind through 2022 as consumer spending shifts to services and moves away from most consumer goods, âAdams said.