WASHINGTON — The U.S. September trade deficit was wider than expected at a $41.8 billion shortfall, with exports down $400 million and imports up $2.7 billion on the back of higher oil pricing and consumer demand.

Oil-related imports posted +$1.2 billion, with both pricing and volume up. The September import average price of oil was $102.00 a barrel, the highest since May 2012. In other imports, autos posted +$887 million, pharmaceuticals +$342 million, and cell phones +$915 million.

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