Bloomberg reports that the US trade deficit narrowed in December.
The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in December to the smallest in almost six years, with both exports and imports declining for the fifth straight month as consumers worldwide pulled back their spending.
The gap between imports and exports shrank 4 percent to $39.9 billion, from a revised $41.6 billion deficit in November that was wider than previously estimated, the Commerce Department said today in Washington...
Imports in December dropped 5.5 percent to $173.7 billion, the lowest since September 2005, from $183.9 billion the prior month...
Exports in December fell 6 percent to $133.8 billion...
After eliminating the influence of prices, which yields the numbers used to calculate gross domestic product, the trade deficit widened to $43.3 billion from $40.1 billion.
Meanwhile, China also reported big falls in trade. From AFP/CNA:
China's exports fell 17.5 per cent in January from a year earlier, customs authorities said Wednesday, marking the sharpest drop in more than a decade.
The country's trade surplus remained high at US$39.1 billion, due to an even steeper drop in imports, which plunged 43.1 per cent year-on-year, according to customs data.
The weakening in the trade statistics came amid falling demand in key overseas markets and a general reduction in activity caused by the Lunar New Year holiday period, which began in January.