News Summary: US trade deficit narrows in February

News Summary: US trade deficit narrowed to $43B in February as exports rose, oil imports fell

Associated Press
News Summary: US trade deficit narrows in February
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In this March 1, 2013 photo, a crane removes a container from a ship at the Port of Baltimore's Seagirt Marine Terminal in Baltimore. The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in February as exports climbed close to an all-time high and the volume of imported crude oil fell to the lowest level in 17 years, according to information released by the Commerce Department, Friday, April 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

SMALLER TRADE DEFICIT: The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $43 billion in February as exports approached an all-time high and the volume of imported crude oil fell to the lowest level in 17 years.

UNDER THE HOOD: Exports rose 0.8 percent to $186 billion, close to the record high set in December. Stronger exports of U.S. energy products and autos offset declines in airplanes and farm equipment. Imports were flat at $228.9 billion with the volume of crude oil falling to the lowest point since March 1996.

AROUND THE WORLD: The deficit with China shrank to $23.4 billion, the lowest point in 11 months. Exports to the European Union were down 0.9 percent, reflecting economic weakness as that region struggles with a recession.

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