US trade deficit widens slightly to $38.8 billion

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Associated Press

Posted on October 24, 2013 at 6:34 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit widened only slightly in August, dragged lower by a modest decline in exports. U.S. farmers sold fewer agricultural products overseas, offsetting the best month of sales for American-made cars on record.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit grew 0.4 percent in August to $38.8 billion. That's up from $38.6 billion in July.

U.S. exports dipped 0.1 percent to $189.2 billion. Sales of wheat, soybeans and other farm products fell, while exports of autos and other manufactured goods rose.

Imports were mostly unchanged at $228 billion. Americans bought more foreign computers and machinery, while imports of oil and foreign-made cars declined.

This year's trade deficit is running below last year's, a positive sign for economic growth.

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