WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit fell slightly in October as exports rebounded while oil imports dipped to the lowest level in five years.
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The Commerce Department says the deficit edged down 0.4 percent to $43.4 billion, down from a revised $43.6 billion in September.
Exports climbed 1.2 percent to $197.5 billion, recovering after a September dip. Imports were up as well, rising 0.9 percent to $241 billion but that increase was held back by a 0.6 percent fall in imports of petroleum, which dropped to the lowest level since November 2009. The average price of a barrel of oil dipped to $88.47, the lowest point since February 2011.
Through October, the deficit is running 4.8 percent below the same period in 2013. A lower deficit provides a boost to economic growth.