The U.S trade deficit with its global partners fell in November for the first time after five straight months of increases as the shortfall with China and several other countries declined.
A release from the government Wednesday showed the gap had closed in November, the most recent month for which data was available, to $49.3 billion from $55.7 billion in October, representing an 11.5 percent decline. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a deficit of $54.3 billion.
On a broader level, the drop in the trade deficit will serve as a boost to fourth-quarter GDP, which is expected to show a 2.5 percent increase, according to CNBC's Rapid Update tracker as well as the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow measure.
Among individual countries, the gap with China closed $2.8 billion to $35.4 billion.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC in an interview Wednesday that trade talks have been "very productive."