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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Trade Deficit Up

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. trade deficit widened to an all-time high of $30.2 billion in March as a record foreign oil bill overwhelmed a rebound in U.S. exports of farm products and autos. The deficit with China narrowed slightly but the trade gap with Japan rose to its highest level this year.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that the overall deficit increased by 5.1 percent from a revised February figure of $28.7 billion.

For March, U.S. exports showed a sharp rebound, rising by 2.9 percent to $87.3 billion, the highest level on record. The advance was powered by big gains in sales of autos and auto parts, computer chips, telecommunications equipment and industrial machinery.

However, that increase was overwhelmed by a 3.5 percent rise in imports, which also set a record at $117.4 billion, with large gains in imported oil, foreign autos and auto parts and aircraft.