Amid a record surge in exports and a drop in imports as the economy struggles with a weak recovery, the U.S. trade deficit shrank sharply in April, the Commerce Department reported on July 9.
The trade deficit fell to $43.7 billion from $46.8 billion in March. That was the smallest gap in the year to date.
The trade deficit, which had been bigger than expected in March, also surprised analysts by the decrease in April. The consensus estimate was for a rise to $48.7 billion.
U.S. exports rose 1.3% to a record $175.6 billion, the department said.
But imports slipped 0.4% from March, to $219.2 billion.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011