WASHINGTON DC: The US trade deficit shows no sign of improvement as the Census Bureau released latest figures which show a $763.6 billion (€581.5bn; £390.1bn) export-import chasm last year. The numbers include a worse-than-expected $61.2bn deficit in December.

Consequently, the Commerce Department is expected to revise down its estimate that the economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5% in the fourth quarter.

Last year's trade gap was around $47bn wider than 2005, but the slide was for the most part due to a rise in oil prices, which have now fallen sharply.

Some analysts believe the deficit will stabilize in 2007 and could even shrink. The gap with Europe is already narrowing, although trade with Asia remains wildly out of balance.

Data sourced from USA Today.com; additional content by WARC staff