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.