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U.S. trade deficit in January falls 8.3%

The U.S. trade deficit in January dropped sharply as both exports and imports fell. The Commerce Department said Friday that the deficit fell 8.3% to $41.8 billion in January from $45.6 billion in December. The shrinking trade gap reflected a drop in exports, which fell $5.6 billion to $189.4 billion. Imports fell $9.4 billion to $231.1 billion. Much of the dip in imports likely came from lower oil prices and a labor dispute that disrupted shipping at West Coast ports. At the same time, the strong dollar that has made American-made goods less affordable abroad is weighing down exports. The trade deficit reached $505 billion last year, up 6% from the 2013 deficit of $476.4 billion. It...

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