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US is likely to show trade deficit for '82

The United States spent $4.1 billion more than it earned in merchandise trade last month, virtually ensuring a record trade deficit for 1982, the government said.

Commerce Department analysts blamed the growing weakness of some of the country's biggest customers, particularly Mexico, as well as worldwide recession and the trade disadvantage of a strong dollar.

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US purchases of imported oil dropped sharply in November by 19.4 percent to 4 .8 million barrels a day, the Commerce Department reported separately. Dollars spent on imported oil fell 18.4 percent to $4.7 billion even though the price per barrel jumped 42 cents to $32.49.