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Trade Deficit Reaches Lowest Level in Six Years

The U.S. trade deficit fell to the lowest level in nearly six years in December as the recession depressed demand for imports.

The trade deficit in 2008 fell for a second straight year and economists expect an even bigger decline this year.

The Commerce Department says the deficit in December fell 4 percent to $39.9 billion, from $41.6 billion in November. It was slightly higher than the $36 billion deficit economists expected.

For the year, the deficit shrank by 3.3 percent to $677.1 billion. It was the second straight annual decline after the deficit posted records for five straight years.

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