Loosening supply lines and U.S. consumers’ unrelenting demand for goods pushed November’s trade deficit in merchandise to $99 billion as holiday shopping intensified, especially for cell phones, clothing, and toys, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The month’s overall deficit in goods and services combined was $80.2 billion.
Manufacturers exported less, due to kinked shipping lines and shortages of workers and materials; but spending by tourists increased as COVID restrictions loosened.
“The trade deficit likely will stay higher in December and January due to the backlog of ships waiting at U.S. ports and headwinds to tourism from Omicron,” economist Bill Adams at PNC Financial Services wrote in a research note quoted by the WSJ.
TRENDPOST: In large measure, Donald Trump gained the presidency by promising to shrink the U.S. trade deficit. However, as we continued to detail—as with his building “The Wall” that was barely built and repairing the nations’ rotting infrastructure that is still rotting—his trade deals were more Trump talk and no real action. However, President Trump did keep his promise to again rig the tax laws which enriched himself and the one percent.
Yet on the trade deficit front, it continued to grow during his administration—a trend we followed in articles such as “U.S. Trade Deficit Widens Again in May” (13 Jul 2021) and “August Trade Deficit Sets Record” (12 Oct 2021)—and remains near record levels, largely because Americans continue to buy, buy, buy.
TREND FORECAST: Until America becomes more of a self-sustaining economy and brings more manufacturing back home, the trade deficit will continue to increase as Americans keep buying the newest smartphone, four televisions in their homes, and a new wardrobe every season.