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US trade gap widens sharply as imports grow PDF Print E-mail
Shipping containers, Long Beach, California
US exports have picked up, helped by the weaker dollar

The US trade deficit widened sharply in November as the recovering economy boosted demand for imports to their highest level in almost a year.

The deficit grew to $36.4bn (£22.6bn), up 9.7% from an upwardly revised figure of $33.2bn in October. The increase was more than analysts had expected.

Imports totalled $174.6bn, up by 2.6% from the previous month, while exports totalled $138.2bn, up 0.9%.

The weak dollar helped to boost exports, particularly to China.

The US's closely-watched deficit with China narrowed to $20.2bn from $22.7bn in October.

The big jump in imports to the US reflected an increase in demand for industrial materials and consumer goods. This more than offset a fall in demand for foods and cars.

Economists were encouraged by the fact that both imports and exports increased.

"The big news is continued and sustained growth in trade volume, signalling recovery both in the US and among major US trading partners," said Christopher Cornell, at Moody's SOURCE

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