posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 08:45 AM
The US trade deficit in goods and services with the rest of the world rose to an all-time high in 2004 as the increase of $125.6 billion in US exports
was outpaced by the $246.9 billion increase in imports. The deficit for 2004 was $617.7 billion compared with $496.5 billion in 2003. An increase not
only in dollar amounts but also as a percentage of GDP, 4.5 percent in 2003 vs 5.3 percent in 2004.
For all of 2004, U.S. exports of goods and services rose 12.3 percent to $1.15 trillion. But imports rose at an even faster clip of 16.3 percent,
setting a new record of $1.76 trillion.
The demand for foreign goods was led by a 35.7 percent surge in foreign petroleum imports, which climbed to a record high of $180.7 billion, an
increase that reflected not only increased demand but also surging petroleum prices, as global markets pushed oil prices to record levels. For the
whole year, the average per barrel price for imported crude was $34.47, up from $26.98 in 2003.
Imports of foreign autos, industrial supplies and consumer goods all set records as did imports of food products, which climbed to $62.17 billion.
U.S. exports of food products were also a record at $56.3 billion. But since U.S. shipments abroad were lower than imports, the country recorded a
deficit in food categories of $5.8 trillion. It was the third straight year the United States has run a deficit in food, which long had been one of
the few areas where the country could depend on surpluses
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In spite of the falling US dollar, imports into the US are still outpacing US exports. The deficit with China, Japan and the EU all rose
significantly even though the high value of the Euro and Yen were expected to reduce demand for goods from those countries. The deficit for December
was a little less than the all-time high for November but it was still near the highest level.
If China stops their policy of currency devaluation it may halp a little but even that may not be enough.
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US trade deficit at highest level ever.