WASHINGTON — Record imports lifted the U.S. trade deficit to $48.7 billion in October, the highest since January.

The Commerce Department says the trade gap rose 8.6 percent in October from $44.9 billion in September. Imports hit a record $244.6 billion in October, and exports were unchanged at $195.9 billion.

So far this year, the United States is running a trade deficit of $462.9 billion, up 11.9 percent from January through October 2016. U.S. exports are up 5.3 percent this year; a weaker dollar has made U.S. goods less expensive overseas. Imports are up 6.5 percent the first 10 months of 2017.

The politically sensitive trade deficit in goods with China rose 1.7 percent to $35.2 billion from September to October and is up 7 percent this year to $309 billion.

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