Summary Box: Current account trade deficit hits $109 billion in first quarter as imports rise

TRADE GAP: The deficit in the current account, the broadest measure of trade, increased to $109 billion in the January-March quarter, the highest level since late 2008.

EXPORTS AND IMPORTS: U.S. exports of goods were up 5.2 percent in the first quarter, led by strong gains in sales of heavy machinery, but imports rose even faster, up 6 percent, reflecting higher world oil prices.

OUTLOOK: Economists are forecasting the deficit, after shrinking to $378.4 billion in 2009, will widen to around $430 billion this year as a rebounding U.S. economy pushes imports higher.