Trade deficit shrinks but . . .

An international cargo container ship


SCOTT JAGOW: About every month or so, we check in on U.S. imports versus exports. Today, the government said that deficit got a lot smaller in October. It shrank 8 percent, the biggest drop in five years.

Now, before you get too excited, it's mostly our foreign oil tab. That fell 17 percent thanks to the price of oil.

Economist Maria Fiorini-Ramirez says the trade deficit will likely go back to getting bigger.

MARIA FIORINI-RAMIREZ: One month does not make a trend and I do think that maybe, productivity may have been a little bit slower one month, our dependency on cheaper imports is going to continue to expand in the U.S. economy, especially with China.

In fact, our trade deficit with China ballooned another six percent in October to a new record high.


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