Bundles of banknotes of US Dollar are pictured at a currency exchange shop in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Jan. 15, 2018. Photo: Xinhua
US trade deficit in 2017 soared to a new high since 2008 as robust domestic demands drove imports higher.
Trade deficit in goods and services surged 12.1 percent from 2016 to 566 billion US dollars in 2017, the highest level in nine years, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.
In 2017, US exports rose 5.5 percent to 2,329.3 billion dollars, while imports rose 6.7 percent to 2,895.3 billion dollars.
Trade deficits have weighed on the US economic growth. Data from the Commerce Department showed that net exports subtracted 1.13 percentage points from the GDP growth in the fourth quarter of last year, the largest quarterly drag in 2017.
Goods deficit with China also rose 8 percent to 375.2 billion dollars last year, and deficit with Mexico increased 10.4 percent to 71.1 billion dollars.
Economists noted that the widening trade deficits reflected that Americans consume more than they produce relative to the rest of world.
The Trump administration is aiming to reduce the trade deficits. However, economists point out that trade deficits would become larger when fiscal stimuluses, such as tax cuts, were introduced to an economy which has already been running at a solid pace.