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The US international trade deficit ticked slightly higher in January but stayed on a narrowing trend as the global economy continues to slowly recover, official data released Friday showed. The larger trade gap was unexpected. But compared with a year ago, the US trade deficit fell by $3.0 billion from January 2013, continuing the narrowing trend of 2013. "The January trade data point to a gradual global economic recovery, both in the US and abroad, as exports and imports both increased," said Tu Packard of Moody's Analytics.