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Import lull shrinks trade gap 11%

Crude-oil purchases in March at lowest rate since 1996

Posted: May 3, 2013 at 3:27 a.m.

A crane moves a container from a ship at the Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal in March. The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in March, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed more than forecast in March to its second-lowest level in three years as imports of consumer goods and business equipment declined.

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Business, Pages 29 on 05/03/2013

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Interest rate cut to 0.5% in Europe

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi arrives for a news conference Thursday in Bratislava, Slovakia, after the bank cut its key interest rate to 0.50 percent.

The European Central Bank cut its key interest rate to a record low 0.50 percent Thursday and announced other ... Read »

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Jobless-aid claims hit 5-year low

Donna Van Natten (left), with the Enterprise Center, and Valoria Armstrong, with Tennessee American Water Co., talk Tuesday during a job fair in Chattanooga, Tenn. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 18,000 last week, the Labor Department said.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 324,00... Read »