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U.S. trade gap in Dec. widens to $40.6 bln

U.S. trade gap in Dec. widens to $40.6 bln (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. trade deficit widened by 5.9% in December to $40.6 billion, the Commerce Department said Friday. The trade deficit was below the consensus forecast of Wall Street economists of a deficit of $42.0 billion. Imports rose faster than exports in December. As a result the deficit for the year totals $497.8 billion, up 32.8% from $374.9 billion in 2009. The U.S. trade deficit with China widened to $20.7 billion in compared with $18.1 billion in the same month last year. The deficit with China hit a record high $273.1 billion in 2010.