The Washington Post

U.S. deficit had record growth in February

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The U.S. trade deficit grew to a record $71.1 billion in February as a decline in exports more than offset a slight dip in imports, and analysts are pointing at severe weather that created disruption­s.

The coronaviru­s pandemic has stifled global trade for more than a year, but those barriers appear to be falling as millions of people get vaccinated and countries start easing operating restrictio­ns for businesses. Total trade after two months of 2021 was just 1.8 percent behind where it was at that point last year, before the global economy was blindsided by the pandemic.

The February gap between what America buys from abroad compared with what it sells abroad jumped 4.8 percent above the revised January deficit of $67.8 billion, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

The increase reflected a

2.6 percent decline in exports of goods and services to $187.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis. That wiped out a 0.7 percent decline in imports, which ticked down from January’s record high of $260.1 billion.

The goods deficit with China grew 11.4 percent from January to $30.3 billion in February, while the goods deficit with Mexico shrank 42.9 percent from $11.9 billion to $6.8 billion.

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