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US trade deficit rises 1.9% in January

Last Updated Mar 5, 2021 at 8:57 am EDT

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2019, file photo, cargo cranes are used to take containers off of a Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation boat at the Port of Tacoma in Tacoma, Wash. The Commerce Department said Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, the U.S. trade deficit jumped to $68.1 billion in November as a surge in imports overwhelmed a smaller increase in exports. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The U.S. trade deficit rose 1.9% in January as the coronavirus pandemic continued to disrupt global commerce.

The gap between the goods and services the United States sold and what it bought abroad rose to $68.2 billion from $67 billion in December, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Exports rose 1% to $191.9 billion, while imports increased 1.2% to $260.2 billion.

The politically sensitive trade gap with China fell 3.2% to $27.2 billion. The trade deficit with Mexico rose $1.6 billion to $11.9 billion in January.

The coronavirus has upended trade in services such as education and travel, sections of the economy in which the United States runs persistent surpluses. Measured in dollars, monthly exports of U.S. services have declined by nearly one-fourth since the virus outbreak about a year ago.

Year-over-year, the goods and services deficit climbed to $23.8 billion, or 53.7%, from January 2020.

Matt Ott, The Associated Press