US trade deficit drops to $38.8 billion in March as flow of crude oil falls to 17-year low | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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US trade deficit drops to $38.8 billion in March as flow of crude oil falls to 17-year low

In this March 1, 2013 photo, a crane removes a container from a ship at the Port of Baltimore's Seagirt Marine Terminal in Baltimore. The government reports on the U.S. trade deficit for March, Thursday, May 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
May 02, 2013 - 5:36 AM

WASHINGTON - The U.S. trade deficit narrowed for a second month in March as the daily flow of imported crude oil dropped to the lowest level in 17 years. The deficit with China hit a three-year low.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit decreased to $38.8 billion, an 11 per cent drop from February's $43.6 billion.

Exports fell 0.9 per cent to $184.3 billion as sales of machinery, autos and farm products all declined. Imports fell 2.8 per cent to $223.1 billion, led by a 4.4 per cent drop in foreign petroleum. Crude oil imports averaged just 7 million barrels per day, the lowest since March 1996.

A smaller trade gap can boost overall economic growth as American companies earn more from overseas sales while U.S. consumers and businesses spend less on foreign products.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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