Portugal first-quarter trade deficit widens 25 percent

FILE PHOTO: A container ship sails on the Tagus River near the port in Lisbon, Portugal, April 13, 2018. REUTERS / Rafael Marchante

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal’s global trade deficit widened 25 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from a year earlier as imports rose at more than twice the pace of the increase in exports, while in March alone exports fell almost 6 percent.

The National Statistics Institute (INE) said on Thursday that the trade deficit, which is for goods only, rose to 3.4 billion euros (3 billion pounds) in the quarter.

In March alone imports were little changed and the deficit soared 34 percent from a year earlier.

Reporting By Andrei Khalip, editing by Sergio Goncalves