The U.S. trade deficit shrunk in April after a big drop in imports offset the first decline in U.S. exports in five months.
The Commerce Department says the trade deficit narrowed 4.9 percent in April to $50.1 billion.
U.S. exports, which had hit a record the previous month, fell 0.8 percent to $182.9 billion. Sales of everything from commercial jetliners to industrial machinery declined.
Imports, which also set a record in March, dropped an even faster 1.7 percent to $233 billion.
The slip in exports is troublesome because it shows the weaker global economy is dampening demand for American-made goods. Sales declined to Europe, China and Brazil.