US trade deficit widens, imports and exports decline

December 11, 2012 15:33

WASHINGTON - The US trade deficit widened in October as exports suffered the biggest drop in nearly four years, indicating slowing global demand is likely to weigh on US economic growth in the fourth quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade gap increased 4.9 percent to $42.2 billion even as imports declined to the lowest level in 1-1/2 years. September's trade gap was revised to $40.3 billion from the previously reported $41.6 billion.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the trade deficit to rise to $42.6 billion in October. The wider trade gap in October reflected a 3.6 percent fall in exports of goods and services to $180.5 billion. That was the biggest percent drop in exports since January 2009.

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