The Straits Times
Published on Dec 18, 2012

US current account deficit fell in third quarter


WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. current account trade deficit narrowed in the July-September quarter to the smallest level since late 2010, but the improvement may not last.

The deficit fell to US$107.5 billion (S$ 130 billion) in the third quarter, down 9 per cent from the second-quarter imbalance of US$118.1 billion, the Commerce Department reported on Tuesday. It was the lowest trade gap since the final three months of 2010.

The current account is the broadest measure of trade. It tracks the sale of merchandise and services between nations as well as investment flows. Economists watch the current account as a sign of how much the United States needs to borrow from foreigners.

Many economists predict the deficit will widen in coming quarters, in part because a global slowdown is dampening demand for American exports.