By  on May 12, 2008

WASHINGTON — Apparel and textile imports dropped sharply in March while the U.S. trade deficit narrowed, an indicator of the severe slowdown in the economy.

Textile and apparel shipments fell 11.4 percent to 3.7 billion square meter equivalents, driven by small gains or declines from most of the top 10 supplier countries, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The volume of textile and apparel imports to the U.S. in March was the lowest since December 2004 and contributed to a drop in the U.S. trade deficit to $58.2 billion in March from $61.7 billion in February.

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