U.S. trade deficit fell to $48.7 billion in May

American manufacturers picked up exports to Europe and China in May, narrowing the U.S. trade deficit to $48.7 billion.
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(AP) WASHINGTON - The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in May from April, a hopeful sign for economic growth. American companies sold more products in Europe and China, while cheaper oil lowered the amount spent on imports.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit fell 3.8 percent to $48.7 billion in May, down from $50.6 billion in April.

Exports rose 0.2 percent to $183.1 billion. The increase reflected stronger sales of telecommunications equipment and heavy machinery. Imports dropped 0.7 percent to $231.8 billion. America's foreign oil bill fell to the lowest level in 15 months.

A narrower trade gap is less of a drag on growth. The United States is spending less on foreign-made products, while taking in more from sales of U.S.-made goods.