WASHINGTON (January 11, 2013)--The U.S. trade deficit expanded in November to its widest point in seven months, driven by a surge in imports that outpaced modest growth in exports, the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday.
The Commerce Department said the deficit widened 15.8 percent to $48.7 billion in November from October, as U.S. exports increased 1 percent to $182.6 billion, while imports grew 3.8 percent to $231.3 billion.
U.S. exports to Europe, a region struggling with a prolonged debt crisis, fell 1.3 percent.
The jump in imports was led by gains in shipments of cell phones, including Apple's new iPhone.
A wider trade deficit acts as a drag on U.S. growth and typically means the U.S. is earning less on overseas sales while spending more on foreign products.