US trade deficit drops to $43.4 billion in October with oil imports falling to 5-year low

EnergyAssociated Press

The U.S. trade deficit fell slightly in October as exports rebounded while oil imports dipped to the lowest level in five years.

The Commerce Department says the deficit edged down 0.4 percent to $43.4 billion, down from a revised $43.6 billion in September.

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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.