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U.S. trade deficit declines to $34.3 billion

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 7, 2014 at 8:22 a.m.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. trade deficit fell in November to its lowest level in four years, an encouraging sign for economic growth. Gains in energy production and stronger sales of American-made airplanes, autos and machinery lifted exports to an all-time high.

The trade gap dropped 12.9 percent in November to $34.3 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That's the smallest monthly trade deficit since October 2009

Exports rose 0.9 percent to a record $194.9 billion, aided by a 5.6 percent rise in petroleum exports. Imports dropped 1.4 percent to $229.1 billion. A decrease in demand for foreign oil offset a record level of imported autos.

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