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US Trade Deficit Rose to $44.2 Billion in August

Posted at: 10/11/2012 10:07 AM

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. trade deficit widened in August as exports fell to the lowest level in six months, a worrisome sign that a slowing global economy is cutting into demand for U.S. goods.

The Commerce Department says the deficit increased to $44.2 billion in August, the biggest gap since May and a 4.1 percent increase from July.

Exports dropped 1 percent to $181.3 billion. Demand for American-made cars and farm goods declined. Imports edged down a slight 0.1 percent to $225.5 billion as purchases of foreign-made autos, aircraft and heavy machinery fell. The cost of oil imports rose sharply.

A wider trade deficit acts as a drag on growth because it means the U.S. is earning less on overseas sales of American-produced goods while spending more on foreign products.

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