WASHINGTON — The U.S. December trade balance printed at a deficit of $39.9 billion as imports fell $10.2 billion in a 5.5% decline, and exports fell $8.5 billion in a 6% drop as part of a continuing trade contraction that largely reflects commodities pricing and waning demand due to the recession.

In imports, there was a $5.6 billion drop in industrial supplies, largely related to lower oil and metals. Autos fell $1.5 billion and computers fell $500 million. December’s industrial supplies imports were the lowest since July 2005, and the imports of autos were the lowest since May 1999.

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