WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. commodity deficit widened sharply in December as imports continued to rise, and trade in the fourth quarter should have been a drag on economic growth.
The trade deficit widened 3.0 percent to $ 101.0 billion last month, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
The report comes ahead of fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data released on Thursday. Trade has negatively impacted GDP growth in five quarters.
According to a Reuters poll of economists, the US economy is expected to grow at an annual rate of 5.5% in the last quarter, an acceleration from 2.3% in the third quarter. Last year’s growth is expected to be strong after 1984.
(By Lucia Muttigani)
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