Good news dominated the economic data released Thursday, September 9, as weekly jobless claims fell more than expected and the U.S. trade gap saw its biggest improvement in 17 months.
The nation’s international trade deficit in goods and services decreased 14% to $42.8 billion in July from a revised $49.8 billion in June as exports increased and imports decreased, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.
The trade number beat expectations, as the consensus forecast was for a $46.8 billion deficit.
Exports rebounded 1.8%, following a 1.3% drop in June, and imports fell 2.1% after increasing 3.1%.
“Today’s report is good news for adding a little lift to third quarter GDP growth,” according to a Nasdaq news report. “And manufacturers certainly will be happy about the resumption of export growth. But it appears that businesses may be tapping down their expectations for consumer spending with imports of consumer goods down.”
On the U.S. jobs front, there were fewer unemployed workers filing jobless claims this week, with a drop of 27,000 to 451,000 in the week ended September 4 from the previous week’s revised figure of 478,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported. The revised figure was 6,000 higher than the original number reported last week.