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The U.S. trade deficit in goods mushroomed to a record in November as imports surged and exports slipped.

The goods trade deficit widened last month by 17.5 per cent to $97.8-billion from $83.2-billion in October, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. That exceeds the previous record deficit set in September of $97-billion.

Goods exports declined 2.1 per cent, while imports rose by 4.7 per cent.

The report also showed wholesale inventories climbed 1.2 per cent last month.

Retail inventories increased 2.0 per cent.

Retail inventories, excluding autos, which go into the calculation of gross domestic product, edged up by 1.3 per cent The economy grew at a 2.3 per cent annualized rate in the third quarter, a step-down from earlier in the year but activity has rebounded in the fourth quarter.

Trade has been a drag on gross domestic product growth for five straight quarters, while inventories added to output in the third quarter.

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