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US Trade Deficit Widens, Jobless Claims Fall

The U.S. trade deficit has widened to its highest level in more than a year, as exports fell more than imports.

A new report Thursday from the Commerce Department shows the deficit at $40.3 billion in April, a slight increase from the previous month.

Despite an overall fall in U.S. exports of goods and services, the report shows a slight rise in sales of industrial supplies and automobiles.

A separate report shows the number of Americans filing first-time unemployment claims fell slightly last week - a sign of hope for the struggling U.S. jobs market.

The Labor Department says the number of laid-off workers filing claims fell by 3,000 to a total of 456,000.

The report says the number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits after their first week of aid fell by 255,000, the largest decline in over a year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.