The US trade deficit narrowed in September to $41.5 billion, down from a revised $43.8 billion in August, on a surge in exports led by industrial supplies, government data released Thursday showed.
Exports of goods and services jumped 3.1 percent over August, to $187 billion, eclipsing a 1.4 percent rise in imports to $228.5 billion, the Commerce Department said.
Exports of goods rebounded after two straight months of declines, surging 4.2 percent month-on-month to $134 billion.
The improvement in the US trade deficit surprised most analysts, who had forecast it would widen to $45.4 billion.
The overall trend has shown a steady narrowing of trade balance in the past four months. On a three-month moving average, the trade gap stood at $42.6 billion in September, down from $49.7 billion for the three months ended in May.