Business briefs: Trade deficit falls

The U.S. trade deficit fell to the lowest level in seven months, helped by record-high sales of American products. The deficit with China declined as imports edged down following a string of high-profile recalls. The Commerce Department said the deficit declined to $57.6 billion in August, down 2.4 percent from the July imbalance. It was lowest gap between exports and imports since January.

SAFEWAY

Safeway Inc.’s (SWY) third-quarter profit climbed 12 percent to match analysts’ projections, the latest payoff from the grocer’s recent recipe of cutting labor costs while spending on store improvements to attract more shoppers. The Pleasanton-based company said Thursday that it earned $194.6 million, or 44 cents per share, during the three months ended Sept. 8.

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