U.S. Stimulus & Shifts in Consumer Spending Hit Trade Deficit

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

The one-way street of Globalization by Corporate America.

So that was inevitable, after the US stimulus efforts: The US trade deficit in goods – exports minus imports of goods – hit a record in November of $84.8 billion, blowing by the prior record established in August, according to the advance estimate of US International Trade in Goods by the Commerce Department. This advance estimate will likely be adjusted one way or the other with the more complete batch of trade data early next year.

During the Financial Crisis, the trade deficit narrowed drastically as imports fell because US consumers cut back on buying goods, imported goods, though they continued buying services, which are mostly not imported. Now the opposite is happening: Consumers bought record amounts of durable goods, but curtailed their spending on services. And much of this merchandise they bought was imported:

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