America’s shortfall on trade with the rest of the world widened more than expected in November, in part amid stockpiling of cell phones and other household goods by firms ahead of the Christmas holidays.

According to the Department of Labor, in seasonally adjusted terms the deficit on trade in goods and services increased by 8.0% month-on-month to reach $68.1bn.

Economists had anticipated it would widen from -$63.1 to -$64.9bn.

Faster growth in imports than exports was behind the wider deficit with purchases from overseas up by 2.9% on the month to $252.3bn.

In particular, imports of goods jumped by $6.4bn, led by a $2.8bn rise in those of cell phones and other household goods, while imports of industrial supplies and materials rose by $1.5bn.

Exports of goods and services meanwhile grew by 1.2% to $184.2bn.


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