03/17/2016 08:43 EDT | Updated 03/18/2017 01:12 EDT

US current account trade deficit hits $484.1 billion in 2015

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 per cent 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 per cent from a 2014 imbalance of $389.5 billion. It was the biggest annual deficit since 2008 when the deficit totalled $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.

Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press