US trade deficit in surprise fall

America’s trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed to $38.3bn (£24.2bn) in November, its lowest level since last January, it was revealed yesterday. Economists had expected a widening in the deficit. However, the politically sensitive deficit with China widened by half a per cent. Meanwhile, the US producer price index (PPI) rose above expectations. The inflation measure hit 1.1 per cent in December. The weekly jobless claims figures rose to 445,000, although continuing claims fell.