Although the trade deficit declined slightly in March, the U.S. continues to import far more than it exports, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced Tuesday.

The trade gap is an important economic indicator because it monitors where consumers spend their money, signaling now that goods overseas are more sought after than goods produced at home.

The U.S. exported $193.9 billion worth of goods in March and imported $234.3 billion in that same period, resulting in a goods and services deficit of $40.4 billion, down from February’s revised figure of $41.9 billion.

The latest data from the federal government shows that the trade deficit declined in March by 3.6 percent.

The disappointing figures prompted analysts at Goldman Sachs to revise their initial estimates for first quarter gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services in the U.S., to -0.6 percent, down from -0.3 percent.

Image source: BEA

Image source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

“March exports were $3.9 billion more than February exports of $190.0 billion. March imports were $2.5 billion more than February imports of $231.8 billion,” the Bureau of Economic Analysis report said.

The goods deficit in March fell $0.6 billion from February to $60.7 billion while the services surplus jumped $0.9 billion from February to $20.4 billion, the report added.

Here are highlights from the report:

Exports of goods increased by $3.7 billion to $135.1 billion, according to the government report. Meanwhile, imports of goods increased by $3.1 billion to $195.8 billion.

Exports of services barely changed, increasing by a slight $0.2 billion to $58.8 billion. Meanwhile, imports of services fell by $0.7 billion to $38.4 billion.

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