U.S. trade deficit soars to record high

As cargo ships clogged U.S. ports, the trade deficit soared to a record high in March. The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the trade gap widened by 5.6%.

The U.S. can’t get enough of imports. Americans are using their government stimulus checks to buy more goods, and much of that comes from abroad. They’re cooped up at home, so they’re spending more on products than services. The increased vaccination is also spurring demand.

Businesses with low inventories are forced to import more goods because manufacturers can’t satisfy the surge in demand. Americans splurged on foreign-made clothing, toys, and furniture.

The trade gap could widen further as the U.S. economy rebounds faster than its global rivals.

ClearBridge Investments Investment Strategist Jeffrey Schulze:

“The economy is going to come on in gangbusters over the next three to six months, and that's really going to propel not only the economy forward, but earnings revisions for the market.”

Most economists foresee double digit growth this quarter, positioning the economy to grow at its fastest clip since 1984.