U.S. trade deficit hits record $74.4 billion in March

THE UNITED STATES trade deficit grew to $74.4 billion in March. / AP FILE PHOTO/LYNNE SLADKY

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States trade deficit surged to a record $74.4 billion in March as an improving U.S. economy drove purchases of imported foreign goods.

The deficit was 5.6% higher than the February gap of $70.5 billion, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The trade deficit is the gap between what America buys from abroad and what it sells to other countries..

Imports rose 6.3% to $274.5 billion while exports increased 6.6% to $200 billion. The U.S. imports so much more than it exports that in dollar terms, the rise in imports was greater.

The politically sensitive deficit with China in goods rose 11.6% to $27.7 billion, as usual, the largest deficit with any single country.

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Martin Crutsinger is an AP economics writer.

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