May 11, 2011

The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in March, as exports leapt to a new record but imports rose nearly 5 percent as oil prices jumped, a U.S. government report showed on Wednesday. The deficit rose to $48.2 billion, the widest since June 2010, from a slightly downwardly revised $45.4 billion in February.

Analysts surveyed before the report had pegged the March trade gap at $47.0 billion.

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U.S. exports grew 4.6 percent in March to a record $172.7 billion, in the biggest month-to-month gain since March 1994. But imports grew 4.9 percent to $220.8 billion as the average price for imported oil hit $93.76 per barrel, the highest since September 2008.

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