Economic Report: U.S. trade deficit in goods drops in March for first time in seven months

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Trade had been expected to be a drag on first quarter growth.

The numbers: The trade deficit in goods narrowed 10.3% to $68 billion, according to the government’s advanced report released Thursday. This was the first narrowing of the deficit in seven months and came in well below the $73.4 billion estimate of economists polled by MarketWatch.

The government’s advanced report on wholesale inventories showed a 0.5% gain in March. And advanced retail inventories fell 0.4%

What happened: Imports fell 2.1% in March and the declines were widespread. Of the major categories, only auto imports rose in the month. Exports rose 2.4% during the month.

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