WASHINGTON, March 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. trade deficit soared to 621 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, the highest in a decade, data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce showed.
The 68.8-billion-dollar annual increase, or 12.5 percent, came along with a net loss in goods and services trade of 59.8 billion dollars in December, up 15.2 percent from 51.9 billion dollars in the same period a year earlier.
On a month-on-month basis, the December figure, which also hit a 10-year record, is the result of a 2.1 percent rise in imports to 264.9 billion dollars, and a 1.9 percent drop in exports to 205.1 billion dollars, according to the Department.
For the whole year, imports surged 7.5 percent from the previous year to 3.12 trillion dollars, while exports jumped 6.3 percent to 2.5 trillion dollars, the data showed.
In December, the country saw an increase in the goods deficit of 9 billion dollars to 81.5 billion, as well as a decrease in the services surplus of 0.5 billion dollars to 21.8 billion dollars.
With regard to specific countries and areas, the charts showed that China still runs the largest trade surplus with the United States, trailed by the European Union (EU) and Mexico. U.S. trade deficit with China reached 38.7 billion dollars in December, up 3.2 billion dollars from November.
For full-year 2018, U.S. total value of imports from China outnumbers exports to the country by 419.2 billion dollars, an increase of 43.6 billion dollars compared with 2017.
Washington has a 169.3-billion-dollar red ink in trade balance with the Brussels in 2018.
The country also bought more from Mexico than it sold to the southern neighbor during the same year, resulting in a net outflow of 81.5 billion dollars.
U.S. President Donald Trump has long complained about U.S. deficit with its trading partners worldwide. The gap, however, is continuing to widen despite his tariff measures aiming to eliminate the discrepancy.