Trade Balance Tuesday, Apr. 19, 8:30 A.M.

The U.S. merchandise trade balance for February is expected to show a deficit of $9 billion, according to the median projection of economists surveyed by MMS International, a unit of McGraw-Hill Inc. If so, that gap would be less than the $11 billion deficit recorded for January. Since the Commerce Dept. now reports monthly data for trade in services as well as goods, the overall gap will be some $4 billion less, since the U.S. runs a monthly trade surplus in services of about that amount. The economists expect exports of merchandise to rise to $40.5 billion, partly reversing January's drop, and they look for imports totaling $49.5 billion, little changed from their January level.

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