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Economy in Brief

U.S. Current Account Deficit Narrows Further
by Tom Moeller  December 15, 2016

The U.S. current account deficit eased to $113.0 during the third quarter from $118.3 in Q2, revised from -$119.9 billion. The Q3 deficit figure compared to $111.6 billion expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The deficit has been trending sideways since early last year. As a percent of GDP, the deficit last quarter of 2.4% was less than half the size in mid-2007.

The narrowing in the deficit reflected a shallower $177.7 billion deficit on goods trade.  A 4.4% rise in goods exports outpaced the 1.2% gain in goods imports. The surplus on services trade eased to $61.3 billion as a 2.2% rise in imports outpaced the 1.1% gain in exports. In the capital account, the surplus on primary income eased slightly to  $43.4 billion while the secondary income deficit expanded to $39.9 billion.

The current account data can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is in the AS1REPNA database.

US Balance of Payments SA Q3'16 Q2'16 Q1'16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Current Account Balance ($ Billion) -113.0 -118.3 -131.8 -123.1 -463.0 -392.1 -366.4
  Deficit % of GDP 2.4 2.6 2.9 2.7 2.6 2.3 2.2
 Balance on Goods ($ Billion) -177.7 -186.7 -186.3 -189.8 -762.6 -752.2 -702.2
  Exports 4.4% 1.7% -3.0% -0.3% -7.5% 2.6% 1.9%
  Imports 1.2% 1.2% -2.4% -2.3% -4.7% 4.0% -0.4%
 Balance on Services ($ Billion) 61.3 62.0 61.1 64.2 262.2 262.0 240.4
  Exports 1.1% 0.5% -1.2% -1.5% 1.0% 6.0% 6.9%
  Imports 2.2% 0.5% 0.7% 3.2% 1.5% 4.4% 2.0%
 Balance on Primary Income ($ Billion) 43.4 44.2 34.0 41.8 182.4 224.0 219.0
 Balance on Secondary Income ($ Billion) -39.9 -37.7 -40.6 -39.3 -145.0 -125.9 -123.5
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