Trade deficit shrinks for fourth straight month

AP News
Posted: Dec 09, 2011 8:35 AM
Trade deficit shrinks for fourth straight month

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in October to its lowest point of the year as Americans bought fewer foreign cars and imported less oil. Exports of American-made autos also fell.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit shrank 1.6 percent to $43.5 billion. That's down from September's revised figure of $44.2 billion.

Exports slipped 0.8 percent to $179.2 billion, the first drop after three months of gains. Shipments of industrial supplies such as natural gas, copper and chemicals fell. Exports of autos and agricultural goods also dropped.

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Imports fell 1 percent to $222.6 billion, reflecting a 5 percent decline in oil imports. The average price of imported oil fell for the fifth straight month to $98.84, the lowest since March.