​U.S. trade gap widens as exports slide again

WASHINGTON - The U.S. trade deficit rose in January as American exports fell for a fourth straight month.

The Commerce Department says the gap between exports and imports climbed to $45.7 billion in January from a revised $44.7 billion in December. Exports of goods and services fell 2.1 percent in January to $176.5 billion, lowest since June 2011.

American exporters have been hurt by weakness around the world and by a strong dollar that makes U.S. products more expensive overseas.

Imports slid 1.3 percent $222.1 billion, lowest since April 2011. Petroleum imports of $11.2 billion were the lowest since November 2003. January imports of autos and auto parts hit a record $30.6 billion.

The deficit in the trade of goods with China rose to $31.1 billion in January from $29.7 billion.