WASHINGTON - The U.S. international trade deficit was $42 billion in July, a 0.2% increase from the revised $41.9 billion deficit in June, originally reported as $42.9 billion, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

The July deficit was smaller than the median $44.2 billion figure estimated by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, and resulted from total exports of $183.3 billion and imports of $225.3 billion.

The July deficit increase was the first since the deficit rose 16% between February and March. The July mark was $3.6 billion lower than the $45.6 billion deficit reported for the same month in 2011.

July exports were 1.0% below the previous month's revised level of $185.2 billion, originally reported as $185 billion. The decline reflected decreases of $2.4 billion in exports of industrial supplies and materials, and $600 million in exports of automobiles and parts.

Imports fell 0.8% from the revised June level of $227.1 billion, originally reported as $227.9 billion. Leading the decrease were imports of industrial supplies, which at $57 billion were at their lowest mark since $54.6 billion in December 2010, and petroleum, which at $30.8 billion was at its lowest level since a $27.4 billion figure in November 2010.

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