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The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services plummeted 15.3 percent in March to $49.0 billion, its first decline in seven months, according to trade statistics released by the Department of Commerce. Exports rose 2.1 percent to a record $208.5 billion while imports fell 1.8 percent to $257.5 billion. For the year to date, the total deficit is up 18.5 percent from 2017 as a 6.8 percent rise in exports has been outpaced by a 9.1 percent increase in imports.
The deficit in goods trade tumbled 9.7 percent to $69.5 billion in March. Imports of goods were down 1.7 percent to $210.4 billion, including decreases of $700 million in toys, games, and sporting goods, $700 million in televisions and video equipment, and $500 million each in computer accessories, telecommunications equipment, and semiconductors. Exports of goods grew 2.7 percent to $140.9 billion, including increases of $1.9 billion in civilian aircraft, $500 million in soybeans, and $400 million in crude oil.
The services surplus jumped 6.8 percent to $20.5 billion. Imports lost 1.9 percent to $47.0 billion and exports edged up 0.6 percent to $67.6 billion.