Page last updated at 15:09 GMT, Thursday, 9 April 2009 16:09 UK

US trade deficit narrows further

Container being unloaded from a ship in Miami
US consumers have been buying less, leading a drop in imports from abroad

The US trade deficit has narrowed to a new-year low in February, the seventh month in a row it has shrunk.

The deficit, the difference between what the US exports and imports, narrowed by 28% to $25.97bn (£17.5bn) from January's revised $36.2bn.

Exports rose 1.6% to $126.8bn while imports fell 5.1% to $152.7bn.

The deficit with China, which often causes tensions between the two nations, dropped to $14.2bn from $20.6bn in January.

With more people out of work and companies cutting back their spending, the US is now importing less from China and other nations with extensive production bases.

The deficit with Japan, the second-largest economy after the US, fell to a 25-year low of $2.2bn.

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