U.S. Current-Account Deficit Narrows 5.7%

The current-account deficit in the U.S. narrowed in the second quarter to the lowest in almost four years, helped by a pickup in exports and a bigger income surplus.

The gap, the broadest measure of international trade because it includes income payments and government transfers, shrank 5.7 percent to $98.9 billion, the smallest since the third quarter of 2009, from a revised $104.9 billion shortfall in the prior period, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for the deficit to shrink to $97 billion.

Improvement in overseas markets would bolster demand for American-made goods and help restrain growth in the trade gap, which is the biggest part of the current account shortfall. At the same time, U.S. economy is outpacing Europe and parts of Asia, indicating further narrowing of the deficit will be limited, underscoring the importance of foreign investment in financing domestic demand.


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