Afternoon Coffee: Trade Deficit Shrinks, Google Plans to Be Using Drones for Deliveries by 2017

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The U.S. trade deficit shrunk in September to $40.8 billion, down from the $48.0 billion in August, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. The deficit is now the lowest it has been in seven months and lower than the $41.1 billion economists had predicted.

Google expects to be using drones to deliver packages in 2017. David Vos, of Google’s holding company Alphabet Inc., said Google is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the “aviation community at large” to get the project off the ground.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a $70 million cash penalty against Takata for the Japanese company’s defective airbags, which led to multiple deaths in the U.S., more than 100 injuries and a recall of at least 19 million cars.

The U.S. car market is on track to have its best year yet for sales. Light-vehicle sales were up 13.8% in October compared to the same month last year. A total of 1.46 million cars and trucks were sold last month.

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