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NEW YORK (AFP) – The U.S. trade deficit shrank by an unexpectedly large margin in June as imports fell and exports grew, according to data released Tuesday.

The trade gap fell to $34.2 billion in June, down from a revised $44.1 billion in May, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Analysts had expected a deficit of $43.4 billion, according to Briefing.com.

The United States exported $191.2 billion in goods and services in June and had imports of $225.4 billion.

June’s imports came in at $5.8 billion lower than May and exports were $4.1 billion higher.

Large export gains over May came in industrial supplies and materials ($1.5 billion) and capital goods ($1.5 billion).

Meanwhile, imports of industrial supplies and materials fell $2.5 billion and consumer goods imports lost $1.6 billion.

For the first six months of the year, the total US trade deficit was $242.1 billion, compared to $278.2 billion for January-June 2012.

Underpinning that improvement was a 2.1 percent rise in exports to $1.12 trillion, and a 1.0 percent fall in imports to $1.37 trillion.

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