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The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in October for the first time since July, reflecting a sharp increase in exports and suggesting that foreign demand for goods is on the rise.

The gap in trade of goods and services shrank 17 percent to $67.1 billion, from a revised $81.4 billion in September, according to U.S. Commerce Department data released Tuesday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists was for a shortfall of $66.8 billion.

The value of goods and services exported rose 8.1 percent, to $223.6 billion, in October, the highest on record. The increase was led by stronger outbound shipments of industrial supplies such as crude oil. Imports meanwhile, climbed 0.9 percent, to $290.7 billion—also a record—led by shipments of automotive-vehicle parts and engines.

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