ECONOMY

US trade deficit narrows in March

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in March to the lowest level since October as both exports and imports fell. But the politically sensitive trade gap with China rose.

The Commerce Department says the gap in goods and services slipped to $43.7 billion, down from $43.8 billion in February. Exports dropped 0.9 percent to $191 billion, pulled down by falling auto exports. Imports fell 0.7 percent $234.7 billion as imports of crude oil and other petroleum products slid.

The trade deficit in goods with China rose 7 percent to $24.6 billion from $23 billion in February on rising imports of Chinese cellphones and telecommunications equipment.

President Donald Trump was elected on a pledge to reduce America's trade deficits, which he blames on unfair trade practices by China and other countries.