WASHINGTON — The U.S. international trade deficit was $38.5 billion in December, a 20.7% decrease from the revised $48.6 billion deficit in November, originally reported as $48.7 billion, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

The December deficit was well below the median $46 billion deficit figure predicted by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, and was the smallest since a $37.1 billion deficit in January 2010. The 20.7% monthly decrease was the largest such drop since a 27.7% plummet from January to February 2009.

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