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Trade deficit narrowed sharply to $44.8 billion in July as exports surged to all-time high

WASHINGTON — A record level of exports and a drop in oil prices narrowed the U.S. trade deficit in July to its lowest point in three months. The jump in exports could give the economy a lift at time when it is at risk of another recession.

The trade deficit fell to $44.8 billion in July, down 13.1 percent from June, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

American manufacturers sold more cars, airplanes and industrial machinery in foreign markets. Exports rose 3.6 percent to a record $178 billion.

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