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The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services fell another 2.1 percent in April to $46.2 billion, its second straight monthly decline, according to trade statistics released by the Department of Commerce. Exports rose 0.3 percent to a record $211.2 billion while imports fell 0.2 percent to $257.4 billion.
For the year to date, the total deficit is up 11.5 percent from 2017 as an 8.1 percent rise in exports has been outpaced by an 8.7 percent increase in imports. A MarketWatch article notes that the deficit is “still on track to widen in 2018 to the highest level in a decade.”
The deficit in goods trade fell 1.4 percent to $68.3 billion in April. Imports of goods were down 0.3 percent to $209.5 billion, including decreases of $2.2 billion in cell phones and other household goods and $1.0 billion in passenger cars along with a $1.0 billion increase in crude oil. Exports of goods grew 0.2 percent to $141.2 billion, including increases of $500 million in fuel oil and $300 million each in corn and soybeans along with a $2.8 billion decrease in civilian aircraft.
The services surplus was largely unchanged at $22.1 billion as imports rose 0.6 percent to $47.9 billion and exports moved ahead 0.4 percent to $70.0 billion.