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U.S. TRADE DEFICIT DECLINES

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $8.86 billion in March as a record level of export sales helped to offset rising oil imports, the government said Wednesday. The Commerce Department said the improvement in the country's trade balance came from a 7.4 percent rise in exports, which hit a record $30.78 billion. Imports were up as well, climbing by 3 percent to $39.64 billion. The March deficit represented a 9.9 percent improvement from a revised February imbalance of $9.82 billion. The March deficit was the lowest since January, when the deficit fell to $8.68 billion.