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WASHINGTON: The US trade deficit grew in April on a pullback in exports, bringing the gap to its widest since October 2022, according to government data released on Wednesday.

Although the country’s imports have been boosted by resilient consumer spending, analysts expect this trend to weaken as well going forward, while tighter lending conditions weigh on investments. The anticipation is that trade could bring negative growth to gross domestic product in the second quarter of the year.

In April, the overall trade deficit was $74.6 billion, expanding slightly less than expected by $14 billion, according to Commerce Department data.

Exports fell by $9.2 billion to $249 billion in the month, while imports edged up by $4.8 billion to $323.6 billion.

“Net foreign trade often is sidelined in discussions of headline GDP growth, but it has been a huge swing factor since Covid,” said Pantheon Macroeconomics economists Ian Shepherdson and Kieran Clancy in a recent report.

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