U.S. trade deficit surges

A cargo ship loads up on the docks of the Baltimore harbor on September 20, 2010.

New data for the month of November show the U.S. trade deficit has hit its widest point in seven months.

A growing trade deficit is cause for concern in many contexts, but some analysts say there is good news behind the numbers.

"If you look under the hood, what you see is the trade deficit rose because imports were up, but there was growth in both imports and exports," says Chris Low, Chief Economist at FTN Financial.

According to Low, the rise in imports -- which was up across a broad array of sectors -- demonstrates consumer and business confidence in the economy.

To hear about oil imports, which was one area that saw a decline, click on the audio player above.

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.

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