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US Trade Deficit Drops to $40.6 Billion in October

A cargo ship enters the harbour
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit fell in October, helped by a jump in overseas oil sales that lifted American exports to an all-time high.

The Commerce Department says the trade gap narrowed to $40.6 billion in October. That’s 5.4 percent lower than September gap of $43 billion, which was higher than initially estimated.

Exports rose 1.8 percent to a record $192.7 billion, buoyed by a 9.3 percent gain in petroleum exports. America is experiencing a revival in domestic oil production.

Imports rose 0.4 percent to $233.3 billion, the highest since March 2012. Oil imports rose 1.5 percent.

A smaller trade deficit can boost economic growth because it shows American companies are earning more from sales overseas while U.S. consumers are buying fewer products from their foreign competitors.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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