The U.S. trade deficit widened in November to a 10-month high on the back of surging imports, the government said Tuesday as the trade growth signaled global economic recovery was on track.

The goods and services deficit for the penultimate month in 2009 jumped to $36.4 billion, up from a revised $33.2 billion in October, as imports grew faster than exports, the department said in a report.

The deficit, surpassing the $34.68 billion forecast by most economists, reached its highest level since January 2009.

"The big news is continued and sustained growth in trade volume, signaling recovery both in the U.S. and among major U.S. trading partners, said Christopher Cornell, an economist at Moody's Economy.com.

In November, U.S. imports rose 2.6% to $174.6 billion compared with exports which inched up 0.9% to $138.2 billion.

Total U.S. trade with the rest of the world showed an increase -- by 1.8% -- for the third consecutive month.

The politically sensitive goods deficit with China dropped to $20.2 billion in November from $22.7 billion in October.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010