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U.S. Trade Deficit Widens to a Record $68.9 Billion

The U.S. trade deficit widened to $68.9 billion in Ocotober, according to the Commerce Department. In a separate report from the Labor Department, import prices fell; and the dollar is headed for the first annual gain in four years.

The Commerce Department reported today that the U.S. trade deficit widened to a record $68.9 billion in October. Compared with a $66 billion shortfall in September, imports of crude oil, automobiles and televisions increased. Imports rose 2.7%; the U.S. imported 304.5 million barrels of crude oil in October, up from 278.5 million a month earlier. The U.S. had record deficits with China, Canada, and Mexico. 

Exports increased 1.7% in October to $107.5 billion, from $105.8 billion in September.

In another report from the Labor Department, import prices fell more than forecast in November. The cost of imported goods declined 1.7%. Excluding petroleum, prices fell 0.2%.

The monthly trade deficit with China increased to $20.5 billion, the highest ever, from $20.1 billion in September. The U.S. trade deficit with China for the first 10 months of the year was $166.8 billion, compared with $131.1 billion at the same time last year.