WASHINGTON, Jan 26 (Reuters) – The U.S. trade deficit in goods widened significantly in December amid a continued rise in imports, suggesting that trade likely remained a drag on economic growth in the fourth quarter.
The goods trade deficit rose 3.0% to 101.0 billion last month, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.
The report was published ahead of Thursday’s advance fourth-quarter gross domestic product data. Trade has subtracted from GDP growth for five straight quarters.
According to a Reuters survey of economists, the economy likely grew at a 5.5% annualized rate last quarter, an acceleration from the third quarter’s 2.3% pace. Growth last year is expected to have been the strongest since 1984. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrew Heavens)