The U.S. trade deficit widened slightly in April amid a decline in exports and imports that halted a 10-month trend of trade growth accompanying economic recovery, government data showed Thursday.
The trade gap was up to $40.3 billion from a revised $40.0 billion in March, the Commerce Department said in a report.
Most economists had expected the deficit to rise to $41.3 billion.
Total U.S. trade with the world declined 0.5% from March to $337.9 billion as both exports and imports declined, halting the previous trend of growing trade volumes.
April exports dipped to $148.8 billion and imports to $189.1 billion. Both fell by less than 1%.
The trade deficit with Canada, the largest U.S. trading partner, widened 35.2% to $2.9 billion in April while the deficit with Mexico, the second largest export destination and third largest import source, narrowed $11.9 to $5.3 billion.
The politically sensitive trade deficit with China widened 14.3% to $19.3 billion while the deficit with Japan narrowed 9.4% to $4.8 billion.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010