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U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows Slightly To $69.4 Billion In March

The U.S. trade deficit edged slightly lower in the month of March, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit narrowed to $69.4 billion in March from a revised $69.5 billion in February

Economists had expected the trade deficit to inch up to $69.1 billion from the $68.9 billion originally reported for the previous month.

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The report said the value of imports slumped by 1.6 percent to $327.0 billion in March after surging by 2.3 percent to $332.4 billion in February.

The sharp pullback by imports largely reflected a steep drop in imports of automotive vehicles, parts and engines.

Imports of industrial supplies and materials and cell phones and other household goods also decreased, while imports of pharmaceuticals increased.

The Commerce Department said the value of exports also tumbled by 2.0 percent to $257.6 billion in March after jumping by 2.2 percent to $262.9 billion in February.

Exports of capital goods, industrial supplies and materials and foods, feeds and beverages all decreased during the month.

The report also said the goods deficit rose to $92.5 billion in March from $91.7 billion in February, while the services surplus widened to $23.1 billion from $22.2 billion.

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