The U.S. trade deficit dropped to $38.5 billion in December, its narrowest point in nearly three years, the Commerce Department said on Friday.
The reason? A surge in exports and lower imports of oil, mostly.
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The tapered number surprised analysts polled by Reuters, who expected a deficit of $46 billion.
The figure means that the U.S. economy likely expanded slightly at the end of last year, instead of the drop in fourth-quarter GDP reported by the government last week.