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TRADE DEFICIT DIPS TO $10.8 BILLION

SHARE TRADE DEFICIT DIPS TO $10.8 BILLION

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed slightly to $10.8 billion in August, still the second-worst showing in five years, as America's demand for Chinese toys and Christmas lights pushed the imbalance with that Asian nation to an all-time high.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that the deficit edged down 6.6 percent from a July deficit of $11.6 billion, which was the biggest imbalance since the government began tracking monthly goods and services trade in 1992.GOP challenger Bob Dole and Reform Party candidate Ross Perot have sought to make America's worsening trade performance a campaign issue, contending that the ballooning deficits mean the loss of millions of American jobs.

However, the administration prefers to focus on the rise in American exports to record levels, contending it shows that the United States has become increasingly competitive on overseas markets.