Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trade Deficit Soars by 50 Pct

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trade Deficit Soars by 50 Pct

Article excerpt

The deficit in the broadest measure of foreign trade soared 50 percent to $155.67 billion last year, the second-worst performance ever. Analysts have blamed the country's trade problems for much of the dollar's weakness.

The Commerce Department said the deficit in the nation's current account surged past the 1993 imbalance of $103.90 billion.

The year ended on an exceptionally weak note with a trade gap in the October-December quarter of $44.76 billion, an all-time high for a single quarter.

The current account is considered the broadest gauge of a country's trade performance because it measures not only trade in goods and services, reflected in the government's monthly report, but it also measures investment flows between countries and foreign aid.

For 1994, the United States suffered the first deficit in investment income since the government began keeping the current series of records in 1960, a shortfall of $15.18 billion.

Economists said this deterioration reflected the United States' transformation in the 1980s from the world's largest creditor country to the world's largest debtor. …

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