September trade deficit narrows to $43.1 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The U.S. trade deficit fell in September to the lowest point this year as foreign sales of American-made autos, airplanes and heavy machinery pushed exports to an all-time high.

The Commerce Department says that the deficit narrowed 4 percent to $43.1 billion, the third straight decline and the smallest imbalance since last December.

Exports increased 1.4 percent to a record $180.4 billion, reflecting a big increase in shipments of U.S. made autos and auo parts. Imports were up a smaller 0.4 percent to $223.5 billion as oil imports slowed after huge gains earlier in the year.