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US current account deficit expands to $116.8 billion

Shipping containers are offloaded from a cargo ship at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
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Shipping containers are offloaded from a cargo ship at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The U.S. deficit in the broadest measure of trade rose to the highest level in a year during the first quarter.

The Commerce Department says the deficit in the U.S. current account rose to $116.8 billion in the January-March period, up 2.4 percent from $114 billion in the last three months of 2016. The deficit was the largest since a $119.2 billion gap a year earlier.

The deficit in goods rose to $200.3 billion from $195.1 billion in October-December 2016.

The current account is the most complete measure of trade because it includes investment flows in addition to trade in merchandise and service.

President Donald Trump has pledged to reduce the U.S. trade deficit, contending that it costs U.S. factory jobs and reflects unfair practices by America's trading partners.