The U.S. trade deficit declined in November to a four-year low, the Commerce Department reported Jan. 7.
The gap between imports and exports fell 12.9% to $34.3 billion, the lowest since October 2009, from a revised $39.3 billion in October.
The trade deficit was below economists’ forecast of $40 billion, Bloomberg News reported.
The trade deficit decline was led by a drop in oil imports, which fell to $28.5 billion, the lowest level since November 2010, Bloomberg reported.
“This is definitely an oil story,” Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets, told Bloomberg.
Expanding overseas economies are “a positive from the export perspective,” he said.
Exports rose 0.9% to $194.9 billion, and imports declined 1.4% to $229.1 billion in November.