U.S. trade deficit narrows in July; exports at record high

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in July as exports hit a record high, a trend that could see trade continuing to contribute to gross domestic product in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that the trade deficit declined 12.6% to $70.6 billion. Exports of goods and services edged up 0.2% to $259.3 billion, while imports fell 2.9% to $329.9 billion.

Trade added 1.42 percentage points to GDP in the second quarter, despite an overall contraction in economic activity, after being a drag for seven straight quarters.