Trade of goods and services across U.S. borders softened in April and the trade deficit rose to the highest level in more than a year, the Commerce Department estimated Thursday. Imports of goods and services dropped 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted $189.1 billion while exports declined 0.7% to $148.8 billion. The trade deficit (the difference between exports and imports) rose to $40.3 billion in April from a downwardly revised $40 billion in March. It was the largest deficit since December 2008.While volume was down in April, the below chart shows the rebound we have seen in overall trade since volume bottomed last spring. Of interest... nominal imports have risen more than exports in percentage terms (~2.5% more) reflected in the wider trade deficit (which is also due to imports having a much higher starting balance as of last spring). The bad news is that in real terms the increase in imports has actually been less than exports (~3.5% less). In other words, things we have been importing (i.e. oil) have increased in price more than things we've been exporting.