ECONOMY

US current account deficit widens 14.7 percent in October-December quarter to $113.5 billion

FILE - This Dec. 5, 2014, file photo, shows trucks lined up at the Port of Los Angeles in Los Angeles. The Commerce Department reports on the U.S. current account trade deficit for the October-December quarter on Thursday, March 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

FILE - This Dec. 5, 2014, file photo, shows trucks lined up at the Port of Los Angeles in Los Angeles. The Commerce Department reports on the U.S. current account trade deficit for the October-December quarter on Thursday, March 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)  (The Associated Press)

The deficit in the largest measure of U.S. trade widened in the October-December quarter to the largest imbalance in more than two years as exports of goods fell at a faster pace than imports.

The Commerce Department says that the deficit in the current account increased to $113.5 billion, an increase of 14.7 percent from a third quarter deficit of $98.9 billion. For the entire year, the current account deficit rose 2.6 percent to $410.6 billion. It was the largest annual deficit since 2012.

A widening trade deficit contributed to the slowdown in overall economic growth in the fourth quarter and is expected to be a drag on growth in 2015 as the stronger dollar makes American products less competitive on overseas markets.