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Trade Deficit Dips Slightly

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed slightly to $14.2 billion in June, still near an all-time high, as the deficits with troubled Asian nations continued to soar.

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the June deficit was down 8.9 percent from a record of $15.5 billion set in May, marking the first decline in the deficit since January.

Even with the small improvement, the trade deficit for the April-June quarter in goods and services was the highest in history at $44 billion, underscoring the heavy impact the U.S. economy has sustained from the Asian economic crisis, which has cut sharply into U.S. exports to a region of the world that accounts for one-third of America's foreign sales.

For the first six months of this year, America's trade deficit is running at an annual rate of $158 billion, far surpassing last year's imbalance of $110 billion.