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Feb 10, 2010 11:03 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Trade deficit jumps sharply in December

The government says the trade deficit surged to a larger-than-expected $40.18 billion in December, the biggest imbalance in 12 months. The wider deficit reflected a rebounding economy that is pushing up demand for imports.

The Commerce Department said the December deficit was 10.4 percent higher than the November imbalance. It was much larger than the $36 billion deficit that economists had expected. For all of 2009, the deficit totaled $380.66 billion, the smallest imbalance in eight years, as a deep recession cut into imports.

However, economists believe the deficit will rise in 2010 as U.S. demand for imports outpaces U.S. export sales.

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