Oil-reserve steps swelled US trade lag at year-end

The nation's trade deficit, deepened by efforts to build a strategic oil reserve, doubled in the fourth quarter of 1980, the government said. US merchandise trade, on a balance-of-payments basis, was in deficit by $5.6 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with a $2.8 billion deficit in the third. For all of 1980, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis reported a US merchandise trade balance in deficit by $26.7 billion, compared with a $29.4 billion defic it in 1979.

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