WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit surged 6.9% in April to a two-year high as Americans imported a record amount of goods such as autos, cell phones, computers and networking gear, a government report showed Wednesday. The nation's trade gap widened to $47.2 billion in April from an upwardly revised $44.2 billion in March, the Commerce Department said. That was much higher than the $41 billion forecast of economists surveyed by MarketWatch. The March deficit, meanwhile, was originally reported as $40.4 billion. A larger trade deficit, generally a negative thing for an economy, results when the U.S. buys more goods and services from abroad or sells less to foreign countries. U.S. imports rose 1.2% in April to record $240.6 billion. U.S. exports dropped 0.2% in April to $193.3 billion. The bigger April trade gap could be a double-edged sword. While the higher deficit might reduce gross domestic product in the second quarter, the spike in imports suggests Americans are more confident about the economy and thus more willing to spend.
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