April 12, 2011 8:35 AM, EDT

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows 2.6%

Larry Smith/Trans Pixs

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed by 2.6% in February from a seven-month high in January as import demand declined, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

The gap between imports and exports fell to $45.8 billion, from a revised $47 billion in January that was bigger than the $46.3 billion originally reported.

The February level was over economists’ forecasts of a $44 billion gap, Bloomberg reported.

Imports fell 1.7% to $210.9 billion. The $214.5 billion level in January had been the highest in two-and-a-half years.

Exports fell 1.4% to $165.1 billion from a record $167.5 billion in January, led by lower demand for automobiles and capital goods like semiconductors, Bloomberg reported.