The U.S. trade deficit increased less than expected in April as exports of goods rebounded strongly, suggesting that trade would be a boost to economic growth in the second quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap rose 5.3 percent to $37.4 billion. March's trade deficit was revised down to $35.5 billion, which was the smallest since December 2013, from the previously reported $40.4 billion.
The government revised trade data going back to 2013. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade deficit rising to $41.3 billion in April.
When adjusted for inflation, the deficit widened to $57.6 billion from $56.1 billion in March.
The trade deficit for April was smaller than the monthly average for the first quarter, suggesting trade will probably contribute to gross domestic product in the April-June period. Trade has been a drag on GDP growth over the last three quarters.