U.S. Trade Deficit Shrinks 15% In September To $40.8 Billion

The U.S. trade deficit fell 15% to $40.8 billion in September after a rebound in exports and a decline in imports of oil and consumer goods such as cell phones. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had predicted the deficit would decline to a seasonally adjusted $41 billion. Exports rose 1.6% to $187.9 billion after falling in the prior month to a three-year low, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Imports slid 1.8% to $228.7 billion, the smallest amount in seven months. The deficit had ballooned in August to a five-month high of $48 billion. Despite the improvement in September, U.S. exports are still 3.8% lower through the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2014. A surging dollar and weak global growth have curbed demand for American-made goods and stunted the U.S. economy. The trade deficit with China hit another record high and the gap with Hong Kong, a departure point for many other Chinese-made goods, rose to the highest level in three years. The U.S. imported more TVs, computers and other electronics from those countries, among other things.

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