Merchandise Trade Deficit Wednesday, Jan. 19, 8:30 A.M.

The foreign trade deficit in November was probably little changed from its $10.5 billion level in October. That's the median forecast of economists surveyed by MMS International, a division of McGraw-Hill Inc. Both imports and exports have risen for three consecutive months, and most economists expect small declines on each side of the trade ledger in November. As a result, the trade deficit so far in the fourth quarter is not much different from its third-quarter average. The U.S., however, should continue to grow faster than most other industrialized countries during the first half of 1994, so imports will start to increase faster than exports once again. That means the foreign-trade sector will be a drag on U.S. economic growth for part of this year.

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