WASHINGTON - The U.S. international trade deficit was $48.7 billion for May, a 3.8% drop from the revised $50.6 billion deficit for April, originally reported as $50.1 billion, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

The May deficit was nearly right on the median $48.5 billion figure estimated by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, and resulted from total exports of $183.1 billion and imports of $231.8 billion.

The May deficit of $48.7 billion was $1 billion higher than the deficit reported for the same month in 2011.

May exports of $183.1 billion were $400 million or 0.2% higher than the previous month's revised level of $182.7 billion, originally reported as $182.9 billion. The May figure was the second highest on record, coming in just shy of the $184.4 billion all-time mark set in March.

Imports of $231.8 billion were $1.5 billion or 0.7% lower than the revised April level of $233.3 billion, originally reported as $233 billion.

In another news release, the Labor Department published revised statistics on both U.S. trade in goods and U.S. trade in services for January 2009 to April 2012.

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