Trade gap hit a record $107.6 billion this year and continues to climb.
According to Market Watch, the U.S. trade deficit jumped 7.1% in January to $107.6 billion and hit a new all-time high for the second month in a row, reflecting huge American appetite for imported goods such as autos and oil.
The deficit rose from a revised $100.5 billion in December.
Last year, the U.S. posted the highest trade deficit ever. The goods deficit topped $1 trillion for the very first time.
Key details: U.S. goods imports rose 1.8% in January to $262 billion — also a record.
Exports of U.S.-made goods slid 1.8% to $154.8 billion.
Part of the unusually sharp increase in the deficit in the past several months likely stems from U.S. ports trying to clear an unprecedented backlog of goods that have piled up in nearby warehouses or on ships waiting to unload.
Also in the report, the government said retail inventories jumped 1.9% and wholesale inventories climbed 0.8%. Higher inventories add to gross domestic product, the official scorecard of the U.S. economy.
The increase in inventories is likely to spur Wall Street economists to raise first-quarter GDP forecasts.
Big picture: The already high U.S. trade deficit exploded to a record high last year as the American economy rebounded rapidly from the pandemic while other countries lagged behind.
The result: A surge in imports and a slower recovery in exports.