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.
Are We Heading for a Decade of 1970s-Style Stagflation?
Four key factors in the 1970s were very different from present conditions, and that argues against 1970s-style stagflation as a model for 2010-2020.
Sometimes history rhymes--but only for the first line. On the surface, there are reasons to anticipate a 1970s-style stagflation in the decade ahead: a stagnating economy beset by rising inflation.