For the fifth month in a row, the US trade balance went deeper into deficit (if the advance data holds), hitting a larger than expected -$74.4bn in January - the biggest deficit since July 2008 (in the middle of the last recession).
Both imports and exports dropped in January:
Exports fell 2.2% in Jan. to $133.922b from $137.004b in the prior month
Imports fell 0.5% to $208.317b in Jan. from $209.263b in Dec.
But the overall picture is not pretty...
As a reminder, the trade deficit was actually at a record high ex-petroleum in December...