Ken James/Bloomberg News
The U.S. trade deficit widened 7.7% in February to the highest level in five months as exports of fuels and capital equipment dropped, the Commerce Department reported April 3.
The gap widened to $42.3 billion, the biggest since September, from the prior month’s $39.3 billion, Commerce reported.
The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for a reduction to $38.5 billion. Imports were little changed.
Exports decreased 1.1% to $190.4 billion, depressed by declining sales of refined petroleum products. Fuel shipments to overseas customers had climbed in prior months as U.S. energy production grew.
Imports climbed 0.4% to $232.7 billion, the most since October, from $231.7 billion in the prior month. A jump in purchases of automobiles and parts was offset by a slump in demand for capital equipment, including computers and telecommunications products.