The US Commerce Department announced that the trade deficit shrank 5.3% in September to $44 billion. Exports rose to their highest level in more than two years and imports dropped 1%. Analysts had expected the deficit to narrow to $45 billion in September. With the deficit shrinking, trade is unlikely to be as big a drag on third-quarter gross domestic product as originally estimated. This is a good sign and the trade sector may contribute to the recovery in the fourth quarter.