WASHINGTON – The international trade deficit increased 10.4% in December to $40.2 billion, well above economists’ estimates, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.

The November deficit was unrevised at $36.4 billion. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a $35.8 billion trade deficit for the month.

Exports in December increased by $4.6 billion to $142.7 billion and were driven higher by an increase in capital goods, industrial supplies and autos shipped overseas. Imports increased by $8.4 billion to $182.9 billion on demand for industrial supplies, autos and capital goods.

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