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Trade Deficit Widened To $39.1B In January

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 8:47am
Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. trade deficit widened slightly in January as a rise in imports of oil and other foreign goods offset a solid increase in exports.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit increased to $39.1 billion, up 0.3 percent from December's revised $39 billion deficit.

Exports climbed 0.6 percent to $192.8 billion, led by increased sales of U.S.-made machinery, aircraft and medical equipment. Imports also rose 0.6 percent to $231.6 billion, reflecting a 9 percent jump in imports of petroleum. Imports of food and machinery also rose.

The trade deficit is the difference between imports and exports. A higher trade deficit acts as a drag on economic growth because it means U.S. companies are making less overseas then their foreign competitors are earning in U.S. sales.

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