The seasonally adjusted monthly trade gap fell to $41.55 billion, the smallest deficit since December 2010, the Commerce Department said.
Analysts were expecting the trade gap would widen to $45.0 billion, and the decline suggested the U.S. economic growth may have been faster in the third quarter than the 2.0 percent annual rate initially reported.
The data is the latest positive sign for the economy, which has appeared to perk up as consumers spend more freely and home construction quickens.
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