The U.S. trade gap narrowed for the third straight month in September helped by a jump in exports and stagnating imports, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
The monthly deficit fell to $43.1 billion, the lowest level so far this year, down from a peak of $51.6 billion in June.
The goods deficit decreased $2 billion from August to $58.9 billion, while the services surplus declined $0.2 billion to $15.8 billion.
Exports, meanwhile, jumped to their highest level this year, $180.4 billion, compared to $223.5 billion in imports.
Exports of goods increased $2.6 billion to $129.3 billion from August to September, spurred by increases in industrial supplies and materials; consumer goods; automotive vehicles, parts and engines; and capital goods.
The huge bilateral trade deficit with China, a constant political problem between the two countries, fell to $28.1 billion from $29 billion, almost entirely due to a decline in imports of Chinese goods.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011 IW contributed to this report.