WASHINGTON – 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.