Oil Imports Push U.S. Trade Deficit To 14-Month High

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The U.S. trade deficit in November surged to the highest level in 14 months, reflecting record imports of foreign oil. The deficit with China declined slightly while the weak dollar boosted exports to another record high.

The Commerce Department reported that the trade deficit, the gap between imports and exports, jumped by 9.3 percent, to $63.1 billion. The imbalance was much larger than the $60 billion that had been expected.

The increase was driven by a 16.3 percent surge in America's foreign oil bill, which climbed to an all-time high of $34.4 billion as the per barrel price of imported crude reached new records. With oil prices last week touching $100 per barrel, analysts are forecasting higher oil bills in future months.