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May 12, 2010 8:58 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Trade deficit rises to $40 billion in March

The U.S. trade deficit rose to a 15-month high as rising oil prices pushed crude oil imports to the highest level since the fall of 2008, offsetting another strong gain in exports. The larger deficit is evidence of a rebounding U.S. economy.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit rose 2.5 percent to $40.4 billion in March, close to the $40.1 billion deficit economists had expected. It was the biggest monthly trade deficit since December 2008.

Exports of goods and services rose 3.2 percent to $147.87 billion, the highest level since October 2008. Imports were also up strongly, rising 3.1 percent to $188.3 billion.

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