U.S. trade deficit widens as imports set a record

A rise in consumer goods lifted imports to a record level, outpacing a solid gain in U.S. exports.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that the trade gap widened to $51.8 billion in March, from $45.4 billion in February. Imports rose 5.2% to a record $238.6 billion, reflecting more foreign oil, autos, cell phones and clothes.

Exports increased nearly 3% to $186.8 billion. Sales...

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Ainsley Shea