U.S. trade deficit narrows in April after hitting record high in March

WASHINGTON, June 7 (Xinhua) — The U.S. trade deficit shrank by 19.1 percent after widening to a record high in March, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Tuesday.

The goods and services deficit fell by 20.6 billion U.S. dollars to reach 87.1 billion dollars in April. In the previous month, trade deficit jumped to an all-time high amid a sharp increase in imports.

U.S. imports fell by 3.4 percent to 339.7 billion dollars in April, the first drop in over half a year. Exports, meanwhile, grew by 3.5 percent to 252.6 billion dollars, the report showed.

“The one-off surge in imports in March was partially reversed in April,” Jay Bryson, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities, said in an analysis, noting that the real trade deficit also narrowed significantly in April.

“Whereas real net exports were a significant drag on the headline rate of GDP growth in the first quarter, we look for them to make a modestly positive contribution to overall GDP growth in Q2,” Bryson said.

A sharp increase in U.S. imports in the first quarter was a big contributor to the 1.5-percent drop in gross domestic product (GDP). Net exports sliced 3.2 percentage points off from the first quarter’s GDP.