March U.S. trade deficit falls 11.0% to $38.83 bil., down for 2nd month

The U.S. deficit in global trade of goods and services in March fell 11.0 percent from the previous month to $38.83 billion for the second consecutive month of decline due partly to a drop in crude oil imports, Commerce Department data showed Thursday.

The politically sensitive trade deficit with China dived 23.6 percent to $17.89 billion, with imports from the emerging economy falling 16.5 percent to $27.32 billion. U.S. exports to China climbed 1.4 percent to $9.44 billion.

In contrast, the U.S. trade deficit with Japan widened 10.5 percent to $6.56 billion. U.S. exports to Japan were up 10.4 percent to $5.57 billion, while imports from it rose 10.5 percent to $12.12 billion.

The U.S. trade deficit for February was revised to $43.63 billion from an initially reported $42.96 billion.

Overall U.S. exports of goods and services declined 0.9 percent to $184.28 billion, the department said. On the other hand, exports of advanced technology products totaled a record $27.94 billion.

U.S. imports of goods and services in February amounted to $223.11 billion, down 2.8 percent from the previous month. The average import price per barrel of crude oil stood at $96.95, up from $95.96 in February.

The March average daily imports of crude oil came in at 6.96 million barrels, the lowest since March 1996.

The global trade figures are measured on a balance-of-payments basis after seasonal adjustment, and the country-by-country and regional breakdowns are based on unadjusted customs-cleared data.