Trade Deficit Drops as Exports Jump

by: Roy Mehta

The Commerce Department reported Friday the U.S. deficit came in at $56.5 billion, the lowest in more than two years. The figure was smaller than expected, with economists forecasting $59.3 billion for September. Exports increased 1.1% to $140.1 billion, while U.S. imports rose 0.6% to $196.6 billion. The weakening dollar has allowed a boost in exports, especially for farmers and producers of commodities. The better than expected deficit in the last two months could lead to an upward revision in the U.S. economy's third-quarter growth, to perhaps above 5%. Imports from Europe dropped 12.2%, while imports from China, where the dollar has weakened less, rose 3.3%. The volume of petroleum imported fell to 9.9 million barrels a day, the lowest since February. Despite the signs of solid growth in the U.S. economy, futures were mixed after the reported.

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