Trade deficit spikes in 2017 on 'Trump's watch,' sparking immediate reaction

US trade deficit jumps 12.1% in Trump's first year in office

Throughout his campaign and time in office, Trump has argued that he would wipe out deficits created by America's signing of bad trade deals, which he says have hurt workers and businesses to the benefit of the nation's top trading partners.

For goods only, the deficit also reached past year a record level with China to 375.2 billion, which could comfort the United States president in his idea to continue its commercial reprisals against Beijing. For all of 2017, the goods-and-services gap grew 12 percent to $566 billion, the biggest since 2008. Strong consumer demand drives imports higher, effectively exporting USA prosperity to China and other exporters. Imports set a record $2.9 trillion, swamping exports of $2.3 trillion, according to CTV News Canada. The deficit in goods with China jumped 8.1 percent hit a record $375 billion.

The worldwide trade balance deteriorated further in December as import growth continued to exceed that of exports.

The surge in the December trade deficit was flagged by an advanced goods trade deficit report published in late January.

Economists said the rise in the United States trade deficit was mainly the result of higher demand from consumers and companies, showing that the U.S. economy gathered speed in 2017.

The December goods-and-services gap was wider than the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg for $52.1 billion.

The US trade deficit rose to its highest level since 2008 in December as strong domestic demand led to surging imports.

Trade looked set to subtract more than expected from fourth-quarter annualized gross domestic product, he said in an interview, making the Bank of Canada's forecast of 2.5 percent growth "much more hard to attain".

The monthly figures add to details for the fourth quarter, when trade was a substantial drag on the economy, and show how a widening deficit may mitigate any gains in the pace of expansion in 2018.

It would suggest the administration will struggle to bring down the deficit, especially as some $1.5tn in tax cuts work their way through the system, a factor that could be expected to boost domestic demand further.

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