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U.S. Trade Gap Narrows, Claims Remain Low, Productivity Tepid

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in March by the most in two years, while last week’s unemployment filings were below estimates and productivity gains remained lukewarm in the first quarter. Here’s what you need to know from the economic reports out Thursday morning:

The Commerce Department report adds more details on how net exports added to growth in the first quarter. Beyond March, imports are likely to rebound due to gains in household spending and business investment, while the decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to extend the temporary exemptions on metals tariffs may prompt companies to step up purchases of foreign steel ahead of the new June 1 deadline. At the same time, solid global growth is likely to support U.S. exports.