The U.S. trade deficit hit the highest level in eight months in April as American commerce with other countries was smothered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The gap between what the U.S. sells and what it buys abroad jumped to $49.4 billion in April, up 16,7% from $42.3 billion in March and highest since last August, the Commerce Department said Thursday. April exports fell 20.5% to $151.3 billion, and imports dropped 13.7% to $200.7 billion.
Total trade — exports plus imports — dropped 16.7% in April from March and 24.8% from April 2019.
In much of the world, the pandemic and the lockdowns meant to contain it have brought economic activity to a near-standstill.
In April. the United States ran a $71.8 billion deficit in the trade of goods such as autos and appliances. It ran a $22.4 billion surplus in the trade of services such as banking and education.
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