The U.S. trade deficit during the month of June closed more than forecast as crude oil prices fell the most in more than three years, Bloomberg reports.
The deficit dropped 11 percent to $42.9 billion, signifying the smallest shortfall since December 2010. The metric checked in at $48 billion during May, figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce indicate.
Additional strong news about the U.S. economy released on Thursday included the U.S. Labor Department stating fewer Americans applied for jobless claims during the first week of August, suggesting that strong improvements to the labor market from July could be continuing this month.
"We do not expect that claims will move materially lower from here without a significant boost to business and consumer confidence," states a client note from money market economist Thomas Simons with Jefferies, according to MarketWatch.
Six thousand fewer Americans filed unemployment claims for week ended August 4, according to MarketWatch. That development comes on the heels of the unemployment rate rising in July to 8.3 percent. Though the rate gained last month, employment grew.