The trade deficit increased slightly in March as exports fell to a 2004 low amid the global economic crisis, Commerce Department data showed on May 12. The trade gap rose to a seasonally adjusted $27.6 billion.
The gap remained at historic lows on an annual basis, 52% below the March 2008 level, as the worst economic crisis since the 1930s hobbled trade flows.
In February, the U.S. trade gap had stood at its lowest level since 1999.
The deficit with China increased to $15.6 billion in March from $14.2 billion in February. The oil import bill rose to $14.1 billion in March from $13.7 the previous month.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009