Global trade rebounded further in March, driving U.S. exports and imports to their highest levels since October 2008, the Commerce Department estimated Wednesday.
The U.S. trade deficit - the difference between exports and imports of goods and services - increased by $1 billion to a seasonally adjusted $40.4 billion, the highest since December 2008 when global trade contracted violently after the September 2008 financial crisis.
In March, imports increased 3.1% to $188.3 billion, while exports climbed 3.2% to $147.9 billion. Shipments of raw materials increased the fastest, but all categories of imported and exports goods showed growth.
Trade flows have not fully recovered from the brutal global recession, however. Real imports remain about 10% below the peak established two years ago. Real exports are 7% beneath the peak of August 2008.