U.S. Trade Deficit Falls To Lowest In 18 Months

The Commerce Department says the trade gap narrowed to $42.9 billion in June, down from $48 billion in May.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level in 18 months in June, pushed down by a steep drop in oil imports and a small rise in exports.

The Commerce Department says the trade gap narrowed to $42.9 billion in June, down from $48 billion in May. The price of imported oil fell $7.78 to $100.13 a barrel, the steepest drop in 3 ½ years. That helped lower the trade deficit in oil to its lowest level since November 2010.

Exports rose 0.9 percent to a record high of $185 billion. Overseas sales of autos, pharmaceuticals, and industrial machinery increased. Despite Europe's struggling economy, exports to the 27-nation European Union increased 1.7 percent.

Imports fell 1.5 percent to $227.9 billion, the lowest in four months.

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