The balance of the US trade deficit rose to its highest level in 12 years in 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted flows of goods and services in the US foreign trade.
The US Commerce Department said on Friday that the trade deficit jumped 17.7 percent to $ 678.7 billion last year, the highest since 2008.
Exports of goods and services fell 15.7 percent to their lowest level since 2010. Imports of goods and services fell 9.5 percent to the lowest level in four years.
The decline in exports contributed to the economy contracting 3.5 percent in the past year, the largest decline in GDP since 1946. Trade flows are gradually improving.
For December 2020, the trade deficit shrank 3.54 percent to $ 66.6 billion.
Economists polled by “Reuters” had expected the deficit to shrink to $ 65.7 billion last December.
Goods imports rose 1.5 percent to $ 217.7 billion in December 2020, while merchandise exports jumped 4.7 percent to $ 133.5 billion.