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The Boston Globe

Business

US trade gap shrinks as oil imports drop

WASHINGTON — The US trade deficit narrowed sharply in December because exports rose while oil imports plummeted. The smaller trade gap means the economy almost surely grew in the October-December quarter — an improvement from the government’s estimate last week 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 Friday. That’s the smallest in nearly three years.

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