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March 9, 2012 10:00 AM, EST

Trade Gap Is Highest in More Than Three Years

The U.S. trade deficit widened in January to its highest level since October 2008, the Commerce Department said Friday.

The gap between imports and exports rose 4.3% to $52.6 billion, from a revised $50.4 billion in December that was higher than originally reported.

Economists had projected the deficit would widen to $49 billion, from the previously reported $47.1 billion in December, Bloomberg reported.

Exports rose 1.4% to $180.8 billion, while imports rose 2.1% to $233.4 billion.