WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit narrowed slightly in November to $27.89 billion, as imports slipped and exports stayed soft in the face of slower economic growth at home and abroad, the government said on Friday.
The November trade gap was down $1.44 billion from the revised figure of $29.33 billion in October.
The contraction reflected a slight increase in overall goods and services exports to $78.20 billion and a slight decline in overall imports to $106.09 billion.
Both U.S. imports and exports have slumped markedly from record levels set in 2000. November exports were down nearly 15 percent from the August 2000 peak of $91.82 billion, while imports were down slightly more than 15 percent from the September 2000 peak of $125.67 billion.
The drop in exports is especially worrying to U.S. manufacturers, who say a strong U.S. dollar is at least partly to blame for the decline. After a pause following the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, they have relaunched an effort to persuade top U.S. policymakers the dollar is overvalued.