71° Good Evening
71° Good Evening

November trade deficit surprise: It went down

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed for a fourth-straight month in November, government data showed Thursday, confounding economists who had expected an increase.

The nation's trade deficit contracted 0.3 percent to $38.3 billion from a revised $38.4 billion in October, the Commerce Department said, making it the smallest trade gap since January 2010.

Analysts surveyed by MarketWatch had expected the deficit to widen to $40.3 billion.

The trade deficit shrank 13.9 percent in October. Both exports and imports rose in November, but exports expanded at a slightly faster pace.

U.S. exports are rising because of faster growth in emerging markets and the decline in the dollar's value in foreign-exchange trading late last summer, economists said.

The trade gap with China was little changed at $25.6 billion, as U.S. demand for their goods also climbed. Growing American purchases of computers made in China helped widen the U.S. deficit in advanced technological products to the highest level on record.

Meanwhile, a separate report showed that food and energy costs were rising briskly at the wholesale level as 2010 drew to a close.

U.S. producer prices climbed 1.1 percent in December after a 0.8 percent rise in November, the Labor Department reported. Inflation excluding food and energy, however, rose just 0.2 percent, in line with forecasts. Combined news services


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More news