WASHINGTON The U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply in December because exports rose while oil imports plummeted.
The smaller trade gap means the economy probably grew in the fourth quarter — an improvement from the government’s estimate that it shrank in the final months of 2012.
The trade deficit fell nearly 21 percent in December from November to $38.6 billion, the Commerce Department said. That’s the smallest in nearly three years.
Exports rose 2.1 percent to $186.4 billion. Exports of oil and other petroleum products rose to the highest level on record.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.