US trade deficit narrowed to $40.8 billion in September

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit declined in September to the lowest level in seven months as exports rebounded while imports shrank, reflecting the smallest monthly foreign oil bill in more than a decade.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit narrowed to $40.8 billion in September, down 15 percent from a $48 billion deficit in August.

Exports rose 1.6 percent to $187.9 billion, helped by stronger sales of commercial airplanes and jet engines.

Imports contracted 1.8 percent to $228.7 billion. The big drop in oil prices sent petroleum imports down 8.3 percent to $13.8 billion, the lowest level since May 2004.

Economists are looking for the deficit to widen in the coming months as a weak global economy and strong dollar puts pressure on exports.