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Cheaper oil taps US trade gap, trimming the bill for imports

By Bloomberg News in Washington | China Daily | Updated: 2012-07-09 08:07

The trade deficit in the United States probably narrowed in May as falling crude oil prices and weakening demand helped trim the import bill, economists said before a report this week.

The gap shrank to $48.5 billion from $50.1 billion in April, according to the median forecast of 61 economists in a Bloomberg News survey before a Commerce Department report due on July 11. Cheaper energy also helped push down wholesale prices in June for a third consecutive month, another report may show.

A faltering global economy, which led central banks from Europe to China to cut interest rates and announce more stimulus on July 5, may also mean fewer purchases of US-made goods. At the same time, a lack of US hiring that helped prompt the Federal Reserve to ease monetary policy last month may also temper demand for imports.

Cheaper oil taps US trade gap, trimming the bill for imports

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