NPR logo Trade Deficit Shrank 3.5% in August.

Economy

Trade Deficit Shrank 3.5% in August.

"The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in August as exports posted a small gain and imports fell on a big drop in demand for foreign oil," the Associated Press writes.

The wire service adds that:

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit declined 3.5% to $30.7 billion, surprising economists who had expected higher oil prices to push the imbalance to $33 billion. Oil prices did shoot up, but the volume of shipments dropped sharply in August.

Commerce has posted its report here.

Planet Money follows the economy's ups and downs.