WASHINGTON, July 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. trade deficit narrowed in May with exports increasing and imports declining, reported the Commerce Department on Wednesday.
The total trade deficit fell 3.8 percent to 48.7 billion U.S. dollars in May, down from 50.6 billion dollars in April. U.S. exports totaled 183.1 billion U.S. dollars, 400 million dollars higher than the previous month. Imports shed 1.6 billion dollars from April to 231.8 billion dollars in May.
The increase in exports of goods mainly reflected stronger exports of foods, beverages and capital goods. The decrease in imports largely reflected decreases in industrial supplies and materials, as well as consumer goods.
The U.S. trade deficit with the 27-nation European Union (EU) widened to 10.5 billion dollars in May, up 21 percent from April. Its imports from the EU increased 7.8 percent and exports to the EU rose 2.6 percent in May from April.
The goods and services deficit increased 1 billion dollars from May 2011 to May 2012. Exports were up 7.4 billion dollars, or 4.2 percent, and imports were up 8.4 billion dollars, or 3.8 percent, the report noted.
Trade deficit has been a drag of the U.S. economic growth for many years. U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the first quarter, and was expected to expand at a moderate pace over the coming quarters.