The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in May from April, helped by cheaper oil that lowered imports and an increase in American exports to Europe and China.
But economists cautioned that decline wasn't enough to alter weak growth forecasts for the April-June quarter.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the trade deficit fell 3.8 percent to $48.7 billion in May, down from $50.6 billion in April.
Exports rose 0.2 percent to $183.1 billion. The increase reflected stronger sales of telecommunications equipment and heavy machinery.
Southeast Asia Becoming China’s Trading Partner of Choice
There’s some interesting data emerging on the world trade situation.
One of the surprising things is the U.S. export market is actually fairing reasonably well.
People often pan America for having no exports. It's a common complaint the U.S. doesn't produce anything the rest of the world wants.
US trade gap narrows unexpectedly as exports surge
The US trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in October as exports rose to their highest level in almost a year, official figures have shown.The deficit fell to $32.9bn (£20.2bn), 7.6% lower than September's downwardly revised $35.7bn figure.Helped by the weaker value of the dollar, US exports increased by 2.6% to $136.8bn, led by civilian aircraft, cars and computer chips.