Trade deficit shrinks for fourth straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in October to its lowest point of the year as Americans bought fewer foreign cars and imported less oil. Exports of American-made autos also fell.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit shrank 1.6 percent to $43.5 billion. That’s down from September’s revised figure of $44.2 billion.

Exports slipped 0.8 percent to $179.2 billion, the first drop after three months of gains. Shipments of industrial supplies such as natural gas, copper and chemicals fell. Exports of autos and agricultural goods also dropped.

Imports fell 1 percent to $222.6 billion, reflecting a 5 percent decline in oil imports. The average price of imported oil fell for the fifth straight month to $98.84, the lowest since March.