The US trade deficit jumped to a record high in March, amid a large growth in domestic demand, which pushed up the value of imports.
The US Commerce Department said, on Tuesday, that the trade deficit increased 5.6% to an all-time high of $ 74.4 billion in March. The trade deficit was in line with economists’ forecasts.
Imports jumped 6.3% to a record $ 274.5 billion in March, while exports rose 6.6% to $ 200.0 billion.
Despite the widening trade deficit, the US economy grew at an annual rate of 6.4% in the first quarter of this year, the second fastest pace of GDP growth since the third quarter of 2003 and after growth of 4.3% in the 2020 quarter.
Most economists expect a growth of more than 10% of the gross domestic product in the current quarter, which will make the largest economy in the world achieve growth of at least 7% for the whole year, which will be the fastest growth since 1984.
The US economy contracted by 3.5 percent in 2020, its worst performance in 74 years.
In 2020, the US trade deficit increased to its highest level in 12 years, as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted flows of goods and services; It jumped 17.7 percent to $ 678.7 billion last year, the highest since 2008.
Exports of goods and services plunged 15.7 percent to their lowest levels since 2010, and imports of goods and services fell 9.5 percent to the lowest level in four years, according to Reuters.
Last March, US President Joe Biden signed the $ 1.9 trillion economic stimulus package and entered into force, on the one-year anniversary of the start of the comprehensive lockdown in the United States to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives had given its final approval to the program aimed at helping Americans and boosting the economy, giving the Democratic president his first major victory in the first months of his term.
Biden said before signing: “This historic legislation aims to rebuild the backbone of this country.”