U.S. trade gap narrows

@CNNMoney September 8, 2011: 8:57 AM ET
U.S. trade balance narrows to $44.8 billion in July

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The gap between U.S. exports and imports narrowed in July to $44.8 billion, according to a government report, which was much better than the $51.1 billion expected.

The number is down from a $51.6 billion trade deficit in June, the Commerce Department said.

A narrower trade gap strengthens U.S. economic growth, so economists usually see it as a welcome sign for the recovery.

July exports totaled $178 billion, an increase of $6.2 billion from the prior month. But imports slipped $500 million, totaling $222.8 billion and resulting in the deficit.

The jump in exports reflected an increase in industrial supplies and materials, capital goods, and automotive vehicles, parts and engines, the government said. To top of page

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