NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The U.S. trade deficit grew in April to a record $48.3 billion, coming in larger than Wall Street forecasts, a government report Monday showed.
The gap between U.S. imports and exports was up from the revised record of $46.6 billion posted in March, the Commerce Department said. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com forecast the trade gap would drop to $45.0 billion.
Imports edged 0.2 percent higher to about $142.3 billion from the previous record set in March, while exports fell 1.5 percent to roughly $93.9 billion. Exports of goods fell 2.3 percent while service exports edged 0.3 percent higher.
The higher deficit is likely to be a drag on second-quarter U.S. economic growth and may prompt some analysts to lower their forecasts.
The U.S. goods trade deficit with China jumped nearly 15 percent in April to $12.0 billion. The politically charged trade gap with China is expected to set another record in 2004, after reaching $124 billion last year.
The overall U.S. trade gap is also on track to break last year's record of $496.5 billion.
The trade gap was affected by a 1.2 percent increase oil prices to $31 a barrel, the highest price in 21 years. But that price hike was more than offset by a 6 percent drop in the amount of oil imported during the month.
Excluding oil, the nation's trade gap jumped 9.2 percent to $40.3 billion in April, boosted by demand for electronic gear and other equipment.
Computer accessories, telecommunications equipment and civilian aircraft were the categories that showed some of the largest increases in imports in the month.
-- Reuters contributed to this report