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18.09.2020 20:52

U.S. current account deficit widens more than expected in Q2

The Department of Commerce reported on Friday that the current account (C/A) gap in the U.S. widened by 52.9 percent q-o-q to $170.5 billion in the second quarter of 2020 from a revised $111.5 billion gap in the previous quarter (originally -$104.2 billion). That was the highest level since the third quarter of 2008.

The deficit was 3.5 percentage of current-dollar GDP in the second quarter, up from 2.1 percent in the first quarter.

Economists had forecast a deficit of $157.9 billion.

According to the report, the $59.0 billion widening of the C/A deficit in the second quarter mostly reflected an expanded deficit on goods and reduced surpluses on primary income and on services.

Exports of goods declined $114.6 billion, to $288.9 billion, mostly reflecting decreases in industrial supplies and materials (mainly petroleum and products), in capital goods (mainly civilian aircraft, engines, and parts) and in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines (mainly parts and engines and passenger cars). At the same time, imports of goods dropped $87.1 billion, to $508.2 billion, mostly reflecting decreases in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines (mainly parts and engines and passenger cars) and in industrial supplies and materials (mostly petroleum and products).

Exports of services went down $46.3 billion, to $155.8 billion, while imports of services declined $35.4 billion, to $101.3 billion. The decreases in both exports and imports mostly reflected declines in travel, primarily other personal travel, and in transport, primarily air passenger transport.

Receipts of primary income declined $47.1 billion, to $209.4 billion, mostly reflecting decreases in portfolio investment income, primarily income on equity securities, and in direct investment income, primarily earnings.

Elsewhere, receipts of secondary income fell $1.2 billion, to $33.9 billion, mostly reflecting a decrease in private transfers, primarily private sector fines and penalties.


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