June Trade Gap Shrinks Despite Oil Price Surge

The U.S. trade deficit shrank unexpectedly in June, as the weak U.S. dollar helped push exports higher and overpowered the effect of record-high prices for imported oil, a Commerce Department report showed on Tuesday.

The trade gap totaled $56.8 billion, down from a revised estimate of $59.2 billion in May. The monthly tally was also much lower than the $61.5 billion midpoint estimate of analysts surveyed before the report.

Both exports and imports of goods and services set records in June, but exports rose by 4.0 percent compared to a 1.8 percent gain for imports.

The deficit totaled $351.4 billion for the first six months of the year, down slightly from $358.4 billion in the same period in 2007.