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The U.S. merchandise-trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed to the lowest in more than a year as imports plummeted, signaling the impact of tariffs on shipments. The gap decreased to $66.5 billion in October from $70.5 billion the prior month, Census Bureau data showed Tuesday. That compared with forecasts of a widening to $71 billion. Exports of goods eased to $135.3 billion, down $0.9 billion from September. Imports dropped to a two-year low of $201.8 billion.
The US trade deficit actually recently recorded its first rise in four months. Prior to this, the narrowing largely should stemmed from increases in agricultural exports. Farmers, in anticipation of new tariffs, particularly on soybean products, imposed by China had rushed to ensure the completion of new trade contracts prior to their introduction.