The U.S. trade deficit fell more than expected in March as imports of goods tumbled to their lowest level since 2010, a potential boost to first-quarter economic growth estimates that also hints at sluggish domestic demand.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade gap fell 13.9 percent to $40.4 billion, the smallest since February 2015, also as exports fell.
February's trade deficit was revised slightly down to $46.96 billion from the previously reported $47.1 billion. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade deficit falling to $41.5 billion in March. When adjusted for inflation, the deficit declined to $57.4 billion from $63.2 billion in February.
The government reported last month that trade subtracted 0.34 percentage point from first-quarter gross domestic product, helping to hold down growth to an annual rate of 0.5 percent. The smaller-than-forecast trade gap suggests that the advance GDP growth estimate could be bumped up when the government publishes its revised estimate later this month.