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Economy in Brief

U.S. Current Account Deficit A New Record
by Tom Moeller June 18, 2003

The US current account deficit deepened to a record$144.9B in 1Q and totaled 5.1% of GDP, near the record set in 1Q03. Consensus expectations had been for a 1Q deficit of $142.0B.

Exports of goods, services & income in 1Q rose 2.5% (14.5% y/y) led by a 3.8% rise in merchandise exports (11.8% y/y). Imports rose 5.2% led by a 5.6% gain in merchandise imports.

The surplus on services fell moderately to $13.8B. The peak services surplus was $89.9B in 1997.

From the capital account, US assets abroad surged $289.3B. Direct investment abroad rose $57.3B. Foreign assets in the US surged $447.6B. Foreign direct investment rose $18.0B.

US Int'l Balance of Payments 1Q '04 4Q '03 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Current Account Deficit $144.9B $127.0B $138.2B $530.7B $473.9B $385.7B
  Goods/Services/Income Deficit $124.3B $109.3B $121.4B $463.2B $414.6B $339.1B
    Exports 2.5% 6.9% 14.5% 5.8% -3.9% -9.0%
    Imports 5.2% 3.9% 11.1% 7.3% 1.5% -8.2%
  Unilateral Transfers Deficit $20.6B $17.6B $16.8B $67.4 $59.4B $46.6B
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