The U.S. international trade deficit fell to a four-year-low in June, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens as PDF) released today.
After expanding slightly in May to a revised $44.1 billion, analysts had expected a minor drop in the deficit to $43.0 billion. But June's report clocked in at just $34.2 billion, surprising analysts as exports expanded and imports fell.
Exports rose 2.2% to $191.2 billion in June. Imports dropped 2.5% to $225.4 billion. Oil imports declined to the lowest level in more than two years.
Exports' $4.1 billion increase, to $191.2 billion, came mostly from boosts in industrial supplies and materials (+$1.5 billion), capital goods (+$1.5 billion), and consumer goods (+$1.0 billion).
For the same period, imports fell $5.8 billion, to $225.4 billion, due primarily to drops in industrial supplies and materials (-$2.5 billion), consumer goods (-$1.6 billion), and "other goods" (-$1.2 billion).
Services trade remained virtually unchanged, with exports up $0.1 billion while imports stayed steady.
For June, U.S. exports to the 27-nation European Union rose 1.5%, helping shrink the deficit with the region to $7.1 billion.
The deficit with China fell 4.3% percent to $26.6 billion. Through the first six months of this year, the imbalance with China is running 1.9% above the same period a year ago.
America's deficit with Japan rose 2.2% to $5.5 billion in June. The imbalance with Canada dropped 13.7% to $1.6 billion. The deficit with Mexico fell 9.6% to $4.8 billion in June.
-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.