US trade gap narrows to $40.6 billion as American oil sales boost exports to record level.

The U.S. trade deficit fell in October, helped by a jump in overseas oil sales that lifted American exports to an all-time high.

The Commerce Department says the trade gap narrowed to $40.6 billion in October. That's 5.4 percent lower than September gap of $43 billion, which was higher than initially estimated.

Exports rose 1.8 percent to a record $192.7 billion, buoyed by a 9.3 percent gain in petroleum exports. America is experiencing a revival in domestic oil production.

Imports rose 0.4 percent to $233.3 billion, the highest since March 2012. Oil imports rose 1.5 percent.

A smaller trade deficit can boost economic growth because it shows American companies are earning more from sales overseas while U.S. consumers are buying fewer products from their foreign competitors.