U.S. Trade Deficit Narrowed in April

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By Josh Zumbrun 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in April after setting a record level in March as challenges with global supply chains contributed to a slowdown in imports to the U.S.

The deficit in trade of goods and services fell by 8.2% to a seasonally adjusted $68.9 billion in April, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, compared with the record $75 billion gap in March.

Imports fell 1.4% to $273.9 billion, while exports grew 1.1% to $205 billion.

Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had expected a trade deficit of $69 billion for April.

Global trade, which collapsed during the pandemic, has been roaring back this year as economies increasingly reopen. A resurgent U.S. consumer, bolstered by rising rates of vaccination, dwindling restrictions on businesses and flush with multiple rounds of government stimulus checks have been driving demand for imports.

But at the same time, manufacturers around the world are struggling to meet that demand. Much of the world lags the U.S. in vaccination rates, and the pandemic has disrupted supply chains around the world, leading to shortages of crucial items and manufacturing delays. A prominent example has been a severe shortage of semiconductors that is slowing production of everything from computers to home appliances to automobiles.

Write to Josh Zumbrun at Josh.Zumbrun@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 08, 2021 08:58 ET (12:58 GMT)

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