U.S. trade deficit shrinks on near-record exports

Washington, Apr 5 (EFE).- The U.S. trade deficit decreased by 3.4 percent in February to $43 billion, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Exports of goods and services rose 0.8 percent from January to $184.96 billion - close to the record level of December 2012 - and imports were practically unchanged at $228.92 billion.

The cumulative trade deficit for the first two months of 2013 was $87.42 billion, compared with $96.87 billion during the same period last year.

February's deficit figure was in line with most analysts' forecasts.

Besides the strength in exports, another key figure in reducing the trade deficit was a drop in the volume of oil imports to 205 million barrels, the lowest level since 1996.