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US Trade Gap Falls to Lowest Level in 4 Years

FILE - A crane removes a container from a ship at the Port of Baltimore's Seagirt Marine Terminal in Baltimore.The government reports the U.S. trade deficit has fallen to its lowest level since since October 2009.
The U.S. trade deficit has fallen to its lowest level in four years, with record exports sent overseas by American businesses in November.

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the U.S. trade gap dropped to about $34 billion in November, the lowest figure since October 2009. The trade deficit reduction points to stronger demand abroad for American products and services.

Stronger exports could continue to boost the U.S. economy, the world's largest, as it recovers from a steep recession. Analysts predict the American economy will advance at a faster pace this year than last.

Increased energy exports and stronger sales of American-made airplanes, autos and machinery pushed the country's exports to a record of nearly $195 billion in November. Imports dropped to $229 billion, with reduced demand for foreign oil offset by high auto imports.

Through the first 11 months of 2013, the U.S. said its trade deficit was more than 12 percent lower than the same period in 2012.