The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in February as a rebound in exports was offset by an increase in imports, the latest indication that economic growth remained weak in the first quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade gap increased 2.6 percent to $47.1 billion. January's trade deficit was revised slightly up to $45.9 billion from the previously reported $45.7 billion.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade deficit rising to $46.2 billion in February. When adjusted for inflation, the deficit rose to $63.3 billion, the largest since March last year, from $61.8 billion in January.
The report joined data on consumer and business spending in suggesting that economic growth moderated further in the first quarter after slowing to a 1.4 percent annualized rate in the final three months of 2015. Growth estimates for the first quarter are currently below a 1 percent pace.