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Washington – The U.S. trade deficit fell in November to the lowest level in more than three years as U.S. exports rose while imports declined, putting the country on track to see the first annual decline in the trade deficit in six years.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the gap between what America sells and what it buys abroad narrowed by 8.2% in November to $43.1 billion, the smallest deficit since October 2016.

Through the first 11 months of 2019, the trade deficit is 0.7% smaller than in the same period in 2018. If that trend holds in December, the country will finish 2019 with a deficit slightly below last year’s $627.7 billion imbalance, which had been a 14.1% jump over 2017.

That would mark the first year-to-year improvement since the deficit narrowed in 2013.

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