WASHINGTON — The U.S. trade deficit jumped to a two-year high in April as sales of exports declined and imports surged to a record high.
The Commerce Department says the deficit rose to $47.2 billion in April, up 6.9 percent from an upwardly revised March deficit of $44.2 billion.
Exports dropped for the fourth month out of the past five, falling 0.2 percent to $195.4 billion. Meanwhile, imports climbed 1.2 percent to an all-time high of $240.6 billion, reflecting record levels for shipments of foreign-made cars, food, computers and other goods.
A wider trade deficit can act as a drag on growth because it means U.S. companies are earning less from their overseas markets. But the wider deficit can also indicate rising U.S. demand.