U.S. Trade Deficit Hits All-Time High: Yahoo! News
"The chief culprit in pushing the deficit up last year was record global oil prices and increased U.S. demand because of a loss of Gulf Coast production following Hurricane Katrina. The U.S. foreign oil bill soared to a record $251.6 billion, up 39.4 percent from 2004.
Imports of other consumer goods including foreign autos hit record levels as well, a development that is causing major woes for U.S. automakers.
Analysts predicted that the 2006 trade gap will be even worse, with Global Insight forecasting it could hit $810 billion, reflecting lagging economic growth overseas that could hold back U.S. exports.
'Trade is far and away the largest weight on the U.S. economy at present,' said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. 'This is a risky time.'"