WASHINGTON — The U.S. trade deficit fell in September to the lowest level in five months as imports dropped more sharply than exports and America ran a rare surplus in petroleum.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the September gap between what America buys from abroad and what it sells shrank by 4.7% to $52.5 billion. That was down from the August deficit of $55 billion and was the smallest imbalance since April.
The politically sensitive deficit with China edged down 0.6% to $31.6 billion.
President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on more than $360 billion in Chinese imports. China has retaliated with its own tariffs on American products as the world's two largest economies have engaged in a trade war that has rattled global financial markets and slowed economic growth.