Americans imported a record number of goods last year, according to new data from the Commerce Department released Wednesday. U.S. service exports also hit a record high. The net effect was the largest trade deficit since 2008 — $621 billion, up nearly 13 percent from the prior year. However, many economists say the U.S. trade deficit isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. In fact, last year’s growth was largely driven by a strong U.S. economy.
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