The goods and services shortfall declined to $68.9 billion for the month, down from the upwardly revised $75.02 billion in March, the highest level for data stretching back to January 1992.
While exports increased 1.1% to $205 billion, imports declined 1.4% to $273.9 billion, which equated to an 8.2% decline in the trade deficit.
Even with the monthly decrease that still left the trade imbalance 30% higher than the year-earlier level, a time when the U.S. economy largely remained in shutdown mode due to harsh restrictions imposed on businesses to control the Covid-19 pandemic.
Government bond yields fell following the trade news, with the benchmark 10-year note trading at 1.53% in late morning, approaching its lowest since mid-April.
A declining appetite for imported consumer goods led the import decline. That category fell by $2.6 billion, driven largely by a $1.7 billion drop in cellphones and other household goods.
Automotive vehicles, parts and engines also decreased $1.1 billion at a time when a semiconductor shortage has hampered production and caused shutdowns at some auto plants.
Services imports actually increased $700 million for the month, thanks to boosts from travel and transport.
The China trade deficit fell to a $32.4 billion after surging 22% in March.
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