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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Imports Swell U.S. Deficit

WASHINGTON -- America's trade deficit widened to a record $26.5 billion in November as a flood of foreign cars and consumer goods pushed imports to an all-time high Thursday.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the deficit in trade in goods and services was up 3.7 percent from the October imbalance of $25.6 billion.

Imports, which have been strong all year, climbed 1.4 percent to a record $109.4 billion, reflecting robust U.S. demand for foreign cars, business equipment, consumer goods ranging from clothing to household appliances and a rising oil import bill.

Exports, however, also rose a brisk 0.7 percent to a record $82.9 billion as demand for U.S. products from overseas economies picked up after being severely depressed from the Asian financial crisis.

Through the first 11 months of 1999, the U.S. trade deficit was running at an annual rate of $266.8 billion, far surpassing last year's record deficit of $164.3 billion.

The trade deficit has set a new monthly record eight out of 11 months in 1999 as America's performance on trade has continued to suffer from the lingering effects of a global financial crisis that depressed U.S. exports and contributed to a flood of cheaper-priced imports into the country.