WASHINGTON — The U.S. international trade deficit was $40.3 billion in April, an 8.5% increase from the revised $37.1 billion deficit in March, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

The March trade balance was originally reported as a $38.8 billion deficit.

The April deficit was less than the median $41.0 billion figure estimated by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, and resulted from total exports of $187.4 billion and imports of $227.7 billion. The April exports figures was the second highest on record.

The trade deficit fell $6.3 billion from April 2012 to April of this year, Commerce reported. Exports rose $3.1 billion or 1.7% from the previous year. Imports fell $3.2 billion or 1.4%.

On a month-over-month basis, the goods deficit rose to $58.6 billion, $3.2 billion above the previous month, while the services surplus increased $100 million to $18.3 billion.

The increase in exports of goods of $1.8 billion to $131.1 billion reflected gains of $2.0 billion in consumer goods, $900 million in capital goods and $600 million in automotive vehicles, parts and engines. Exports of services, which rose $400 million to a record level of $56.3 billion, mostly a reflection of increases in "other private services" such as business, professional and technical services.

April imports of goods rose $5.0 billion to $189.7 billion, the result of gains of $3.0 billion in consumer goods, $1.3 billion in automotive vehicles, parts and engines, $1 billion in other goods. April imports of services increased to a record high of $38 billion, up $300 million from March, mostly reflecting gains in other private services.

The year to date international trade deficit through April stood at $163.95 billion.

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