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Jan 11, 2013 8:41 AM by Associated Press

US trade gap hit $48.7 billion in November

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. trade deficit expanded in November to its widest point in seven months, driven by a surge in imports that outpaced modest growth in exports.

The Commerce Department says the deficit widened 15.8 percent to $48.7 billion in November from October. U.S. exports increased 1 percent to $182.6 billion, while imports grew 3.8 percent to $231.3 billion.

U.S. exports to Europe, a region struggling with a prolonged debt crisis, fell 1.3 percent. The jump in imports was led by gains in shipments of cell phones, including Apple's new iPhone.

A wider trade deficit acts as a drag on U.S. growth. It typically means the U.S. is earning less on overseas sales while spending more on foreign products.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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