Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The trade gap in the U.S. dropped to its lowest level in four years in November as exports reached a new record and oil imports continued to fall, which could help estimates for economic growth in the final quarter of 2013.
The trade deficit declined 12.9 percent to $34.3bn, a figure that is significantly lower compared with economists forecast and lowest since October of 2009. A narrower trade gap boosts U.S. economic growth as domestic manufacturers and services firms sell more products abroad and American consumers buy less foreign goods and services.
In November, exports jumped almost 1 percent to a record-high $194.9bn on better overseas sales of civilian aircraft and engines, automobiles and industrial supplies such as crude oil and chemicals.
Imports fell 1.5 percent to $229.1bn as oil imports continued to tumble. Oil imports declined 10.6 percent in November to $21.4bn and were lower 13.7 percent the first 11 months of last year compared with the same period in 2012.
The U.S. has benefited from an oil boom in some states like Texas and North Dakota because new drilling techniques, which helps the country reduce its dependence on imported oil.
The deficit of the U.S. with China fell 6.7 percent in November to $26.9bn, and the deficit with Japan fell 8.4 percent to $5.8bn.
U.S. trade gap with the European Union dropped 29.4 percent in November to $10.1bn driven by a significant fall in imports from the region.