The U.S. trade deficit narrowed slightly for the third consecutive month in November, the Commerce Department said.

The overall deficit in international trade of goods and services eased by 0.3 percent to $38.31 billion in November, the lowest such level since January 2010, down from $38.42 billion in October, downwardly revised from an initial estimate of $38.71 billion.

Exports by the U.S. increased by 0.8 percent to $159.65 billion, from $158.40 billion the prior month. Imports rose by 0.6 percent to $197.96 billion from $196.82 billion in October.

However, the country’s trade gap with China climbed, just before President Hu Jintao's planned visit to Washington next week.

The trade deficit with China edged up to $25.63 billion from $25.52 billion in October. Exports to China rose 1.9 percent to a record high of $9.48 billion, however imports from China climbed by 0.9 percent to $35.12.