WASHINGTON — The deficit in the broadest measure of U.S. trade declined slightly in the final three months of 2015, but for the entire year the deficit jumped to the highest level in seven years.
The Commerce Department says the deficit in the current account narrowed to $125.3 billion in the fourth quarter, down 3.6 percent from a deficit of $129.9 billion in the third quarter.
The deficit for the entire year rose to $484.1 billion, up 24.3 percent from a 2014 imbalance of $389.5 billion. It was the biggest annual deficit since 2008 when the deficit totaled $690.8 billion.
The big deterioration reflected the struggles U.S. companies are having as weakness in major economies overseas and a stronger dollar have sharply reduced export sales.