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The US trade deficit narrowed in December to the lowest level in three months, data released on Tuesday showed.
The gap fell to $44.3bn in December, from $45.7bn in the previous month, marking the slimmest level since October, according to the Commerce Department. Wall Street economists had forecast a slightly higher reading of $45bn.
Trade figures into broader gauges of economic output, with smaller deficits representing a lighter drag on gross domestic product.
US President Donald Trump has made the subject a key issue of his administration, arguing many trade deals hurt corporate America, meaning the balance of trade figures may take on added significance.