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Economy in Brief

U.S. Current Account Deficit Shrinks
by Tom Moeller  September 17, 2014

The U.S. current account deficit decreased in Q2'14 to $98.5 billion from $102.1 billion in Q1.The deficit amounted to 2.3% of GDP, roughly the same as during all of last year. The Action Economics Forecast Survey called for a deficit of $113.8 billion.

Last quarter's deficit on merchandise trade deepened to $189.2 billion, its most since 2012. Goods exports rose 2.3% (3.5% y/y) last quarter, the strongest rise since Q3'11. Imports of goods increased 2.8% (4.5% y/y), the firmest gain since Q2 2011.

The trade surplus on services improved to a record $58.9 billion. Services exports increased 1.6% (4.2% y/y). Travel exports gained 3.7% (7.3% y/y) and financial services exports rose 2.1% (3.7% y/y). Imports of services rose 1.4% (3.0% y/y) as travel imports increased 5.5% (6.7% y/y) and financial services imports rose 1.8% (1.6% y/y).

The surplus on primary income improved slightly to $53.1 billion as receipts from abroad grew 4.3% y/y and payments to foreigners increased 1.8% y/y. The deficit on secondary income eased to $21.4 billion as receipts grew 42.0% y/y and payments rose 2.2% y/y.

Balance of Payments data are in Haver's USINT database, with summaries available in USECON. The expectations figure is in the AS1REPNA database.

US Balance of Payments SA Q2'14 Q1'14 Q2'13 2013 2012 2011
Current Account Balance ($ Billion) -98.5 -102.1 -106.1 -400.3 -460.8 -459.3
  Deficit % of GDP -2.3% -2.4% -2.6% -2.4% -2.9% -3.0%
 Balance on Goods ($ Billion) -189.2 -182.3 -177.1 -701.7 -742.1 -740.6
  Exports 2.3% -1.9% 0.6% 2.0% 4.2% 16.2%
  Imports 2.8% 1.0% 0.3% -0.4% 2.9% 15.5%
 Balance on Services ($ Billion) 58.9 57.8 55.3 225.3 204.5 192.0
  Exports 1.6 0.0 4.2% 5.0% 5.2% 11.0%
  Imports 1.4% -0.9% 3.0% 2.6% 3.4% 6.5%
 Balance on Primary Income ($ Billion) 53.1 52.4 47.5 199.7 203.0 221.0
 Balance on Secondary Income ($Billion) -21.4 -30.0 -31.9 -123.5 -126.1 -131.7
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