WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in April as Americans cut back on purchases of foreign-made goods, including TVs, toys and telecommunications equipment.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the trade imbalance shrank by 2.7 percent in April to $32.2 billion. The March deficit, however, was even bigger than the government previously estimated, mushrooming to $33.1 billion, according to revised figures.
On Wall Street, stocks were rising. In the first hour of trading the Dow Jones industrial average gained 27 points and the Nasdaq index added 10 points.
In April, exports of goods and services fell by 2 percent to $86.9 billion, while imports declined by 2.2 percent to $119.1 billion.
Another factor contributing to the slimmer deficit: The average price for a barrel of imported crude oil in April dipped to $21.65, the lowest since November 1999.
President Bush is trying to overcome resistance in Congress to granting him the negotiating authority to strike a new free-trade agreement with all the democratic nations in the Western Hemisphere.
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