Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade gap narrowing to $50.0 billion in March.
Record high imports helped push Canada's trade deficit to a record for March as it grew to $4.1 billion, Statistics Canada said Thursday.
The trade deficit with China, as President Donald Trump says has benefited from bad United States trade policy, fell 11 per cent to $25.9 billion in March.
America and China are engaged in a tit-for-tat dispute over import tariffs, which has sparked volatility in markets since the scrap began in March.
MarketWatch also reported that despite the March decline, the U.S.is still "on track to run another large trade gap in 2018 that exceeds the deficit in the prior year".
Imports dropped 1.8% in March, "starting to reverse the surge which followed the hurricanes last summer, when wholesalers and retailers had to rebuild inventory very quickly", Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Shepherdson said in a note to clients. He recently slapped 25 per cent import duties on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium.
The Trump administration argues that the perennial trade deficit is holding back economic growth. Canada sent 73.4 percent of all goods exports to the United States in March. The country-level data weren't adjusted for seasonality and excluded services.
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The goods trade deficit with the world of $196.7 billion is larger than any period since before the 2008 financial crisis - up 8.5 percent over the first quarter of 2017 deficit of $181.4 billion.
Exports also showed broad strength, with nine of 11 sectors rising.
Exports to China jumped 26.3 percent in March. Growth in USA oil exports and a decline of oil imports since 2011 have masked the deterioration of the non-oil trade deficit.
Imports of goods and services fell 1.8 percent to $257.5 billion, in part as the boost from royalties and broadcast license fees related to the Winter Olympics faded.
The import side showed encouraging consumer demand, with passenger vehicles and light trucks up 13 per cent month over month, and consumer products up almost 8 per cent. Economists said the strength reflects Canada's continued strong labour market, as well as the acceleration in wage growth in recent months.
The trade gap has continued to rise since Trump entered the White House partly because the US economy is strong and American consumers have an appetite for imported products and the confidence and financial wherewithal to buy them.
Orders for these so-called core capital goods rose 1.0 percent in February. Crude oil imports dropped by US$0.5 billion in March.