WASHINGTON — The U.S. international trade deficit was $38.8 billion in March, an 11% decrease from the revised $43.6 billion deficit in February, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
The February trade balance was originally reported as a $43 billion deficit.
The March deficit was less than the median $42.2 billion figure estimated by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, and resulted from total exports of $184.3 billion and imports of $223.1 billion. It was the smallest deficit since a $38.1 billion figure reported in December 2012, and the second-lowest since the $37.1 billion deficit in January 2010.
The trade deficit was $12.9 billion lower than in the same month in 2012. Exports fell $400 million, or 0.2%, from the previous year. Imports dropped $13.3 billion, or 5.6%.
On a month-over-month basis, exports were 0.9% below the previous month's revised level of $186 billion, and reflected a $1.1 billion decrease in exports of foods, feeds, and beverages, Commerce Department said.
Imports dropped 2.8% on a monthly basis, the largest decline since a 5% dive from January to February 2009. The decrease primarily reflected a $3.4 billion dip in imports of consumer goods, the Commerce Department reported.
The year to date international trade deficit through March stood at $126.9 billion, down from $148.6 billion through the first three months of 2012.