Trade deficit increases in February

The global economy showed further signs of stability and recovery as the U.S. trade deficit increased in February as gains in imports outpaced exports. 

The trade gap increased 7.4 percent to $39.7 billion, which was more slightly than expected, from a revised $37 billion January. U.S. exports increased by 0.2 percent in February to $143.2 billion while imports increased 1.7 percent to $182.9 billion, up $3 billion, over the same period, according to the latest figures released Tuesday by the Commerce Department. 

Growth in exports and imports could signal continued future increases as the global economy works its way out of the worst recession in the post-World War II era.

While the gap widened slightly month-to-month, U.S. exports were up 14.8 percent to $286.1 billion from $249.2 billion for the first two months of 2009, as consumers purchased foreign-made electronics, bolstering the sagging economy.