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US trade deficit narrows to $41.5 billion

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. trade deficit declined to the lowest level in almost two years as exports rose to a record high, a gain that is not expected to last given the global economic slowdown.

The Commerce Department says the trade deficit narrowed to $41.5 billion in September. That is 5.1 percent below the August deficit and the smallest imbalance since December 2010.

Exports climbed 3.1 percent to an all-time high of $187 billion, reflecting stronger sales of commercial aircraft, heavy machinery and farm goods. Imports were also up, rising 1.5 percent to $228.5 billion, reflecting a jump in shipments of consumer goods from cell phones to clothing and toys.

The U.S. deficit with China increased to $29.1 billion in September and is running 6.8 percent ahead of last year's record pace.

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