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Economic Report: U.S. trade gap in goods drops 5.2% in September

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The U.S. trade deficit in goods fell in September, a good sign for third-quarter GDP.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — An early look at U.S. trade patterns in September suggest a sharp decline in the nation’s trade deficit, potentially adding to the nation’s third-quarter growth rate.

The advanced trade report for goods — services are excluded — showed a 5.2% drop in the deficit to $56.1 billion from $59.1 billion in August, the government said Wednesday.

Exports rose 0.9% while imports fell 1.1%.

A smaller deficit boosts the official growth rate of the economy. On Friday, the government will report third-quarter GDP and economists surveyed by MarketWatch forecast a 2.5% increase.

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