US Current-Account Deficit Widened in First Quarter

US Current-Account Deficit Widened in First Quarter

Washington, DC, June 20, 2017-The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $116.8 billion (preliminary) in the first quarter of 2017 from $114.0 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

The $2.8 billion widening from the fourth quarter reflected an increase in the goods-trade deficit and a decrease in the primary-income surplus, offset in part by a smaller deficit for secondary income, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

The BEA said the US deficit on goods increased $5.3 billion to $200.3 billion, while there was a $3.6 billion decrease in the surplus on primary income. The BEA said the deficit was $116.8 billion in the first quarter, up 2.4% from $114 billion in the fourth quarter of a year ago. The deficit now represents 2.5 percent of GDP from the fourth quarter's 2.4 percent, noted Wells Fargo in a research report. Leading the increase in imports were industrial supplies, mostly crude oil. Primary income receipts increased $3.5 billion to $216.5 billion. This is a marked rise from the Dollars 17.6 billion figure recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016. The U.S. has run persistent trade deficits for decades by importing more than it exports.

President Donald Trump has pledged to reduce the US trade deficit, contending that it costs USA factory jobs and reflects unfair practices by America's trading partners.

The measure of the United States' debt to other countries was on the march in the first quarter of this year.