The U.S.’s trade deficit widened 4.8 percent to a record $71.1 billion in February, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
Economists had forecast a trade gap of $70.4 billion. The January gap was revised down from $68.2 billion to $67.8 billion.
Both imports and exports fell in the month but the pace of the decline of exports was much swifter, enlarging the deficit. Imports fell seven-tenths of a percentage point but remain near record highs. Exports fell 2.6 percent.
The trade in goods deficit rose by $2.8 billion to $88 billion. The services surplus shrank $500,000 million to $16.9 billion.
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U.S. exports have been hurt by the return off lockdowns and slumping economies across the globe, particularly in Europe. American spending has been bolstered by the strength of the U.S. economy, enhanced unemployment benefits, and stimulus payments—and a large portion of that spending is leaking out to foreign producers