The U.S. trade deficit increased more than expected in October, hitting a nine-month high as rising oil prices helped to boost the import bill, suggesting that trade could be a drag on growth in the fourth quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade gap widened 8.6 percent to $48.7 billion. That was the highest level since January and followed an upwardly revised $44.9 billion shortfall in September.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade deficit widening to $47.5 billion in October after a previously reported $43.5 billion deficit the prior month. Click here to read more.