The U.S. trade deficit ballooned to $80.2 billion in November, nearly matching the record of $81.4 billion set in September, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau announced Thursday.
The overall trade deficit rose from $67.2 billion in October, with imported goods and services surging $13.4 billion to a total of $304.4 billion in November.
But exported goods and services only climbed $0.4 billion to $224.2 billion.
The bureau report mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to affect international trade and the deficit. But the “full economic effects of the pandemic” are not fully quantified in the report’s statistics, government analysts said.
The news alarmed some economic pundits, including Peter Schiff, the CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, who pointed out the decrease in exported goods.
“Clearly the problem is too much money, not too few goods,” he wrote on Twitter. “The #Fed creates #inflation!”
The pandemic snarled shipments and ports last year, which drove up inflation on goods across industries to a 30-year high.
Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is expected to grow 3.5 percent in 2022, according to the Conference Board’s economic forecast, a slight downgrade because of the omicron variant leading to renewed coronavirus restrictions in the country.
“The severity of this new wave is likely to be larger than previously anticipated due to the emergence of the Omicron variant,” the Conference Board said.