The U.S. trade deficit fell to a 1½ -year low in May as exports rose to a record high, boosted by an increase in shipments of soybeans and commercial aircraft.
The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap narrowed 6.6 percent to $43.1 billion, the smallest since October 2016. Data for April was slightly revised to show the trade deficit falling to $46.1 billion, instead of the previously reported $46.2 billion.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade deficit declining to $43.7 billion in May. When adjusted for inflation, the trade gap narrowed to $75.3 billion, the lowest level since March 2017, from $77.5 billion in April. The so-called real trade deficit in April and May was below its $82.5 billion average in the first quarter.