US foreign trade deficit narrows unexpectedly in July
America's shortfall in trade with the rest of the world shrank last month as exports picked up.
According to the US Department of Commerce, in seasonally adjusted terms, the foreign deficit narrowed by 4.3% month-on-month to reach -$70.1bn.
That compared to the -$74.1bn deficit that analysts had penciled-in.
Exports were 1.3% higher on the month to reach $212.8bn, while imports dipped by 0.2% to $282.9bn.
Pacing the increase in outbound shipments was a $1.0bn jump in those of capital goods.
Going the other way, imports of toys, games and sporting goods declined by $1.1bn and those of nonmonetary gold by $0.8bn.
Economists at Barclays Research attributed the decline in the July foreign trade deficit to higher demand for US goods exports, alongside a shift in American households' spending towards services.
Together with August auto sales figures published the day before, Thursday's trade data took Barclay's US GDP growth tracker for the third quarter down from 5.6% to 5.0%.