WASHINGTON—Consumers and a fresh round of stimulus money pushed demand for U.S. imported goods to a record high in March, further expanding the trade deficit.
The foreign-trade gap in goods and services expanded 5.6% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $74.4 billion in March, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
Imports rose 6.3% to $274.5 billion for the month, fueled by higher shipments of items including toys, furniture, cellphones and automobiles. The previous record for imports, on a seasonally but not inflation adjusted basis, was recorded in October 2018 when the U.S. purchased foreign goods and services worth $266.72 billion.
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