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U.S. growth in 4th quarter likely stronger on export gains

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 8, 2013 at 11:18 a.m.

— 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.

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