The U.S. April trade data continue the story begun in March of shrinking volumes but a widening gap. This reflects rising oil prices and lingering weakness in the world economy.

The April trade balance was a $29.2 billion deficit after a revised $28.5 billion deficit in March, as imports fell $2.2 billion but exports declined a larger $2.8 billion. As trade shrank, exports fell to their lowest level since January 2006 and imports to their lowest since September 2004, and the deficit rose for a second month.

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